My turn: GM’s greenwashing could wreck CA’s electric vehicle progress

by V. John White, CALmatters

General Motors is taking greenwashing to an entirely new level.

In response to President Donald Trump’s proposal to roll back Obama administration regulations on fuel standards, General Motors last month proposed to place five million electric vehicles on the road by 2030.

GM’s half-measure is a distraction at best. At worst, it would jeopardize California’s progress on advanced clean vehicle technology, end our state’s authority to enact policies we need to clean our air and kill the nation’s money-saving existing tailpipe pollution standards that were developed in California. Worse yet, GM’s stunt could slow our efforts to tackle climate change.

I have spent a career working for a cleaner environment, and participated in the development of the original zero emission vehicle standard in 1990, during Republican Governor George Deukmejian’s Administration. I know greenwashing when I see it.

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2 replies
  1. Caitlin Cornwall
    Caitlin Cornwall says:

    I have driven an electric vehicle for a few years now, but I don’t know enough to know why putting 5 million EVs on the road is green-washing. Can you explain?

    • Stacey Meinzen
      Stacey Meinzen says:

      See this section of the article:

      “The reality is that this plan would be a major setback, doing more harm than good by ending the current law.

      As it is, any state with significant air pollution problems—and most states do have bad air—can adopt California’s ZEV program. GM’s proposal could strip states of this authority and replace it with one national plan, jeopardizing the health of millions of people.

      A recent analysis from Union of Concerned Scientists shows that GM’s proposal —with its baked-in loopholes and off-ramps—would result in less than 5 percent zero-emission vehicle sales nationwide by 2025.

      Add in the special exemptions GM seeks, and you would have ZEV sales as low as 3-4 percent by 2025.”


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