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California governor says Trump is ‘building the Chinese auto industry’ while destroying America’s own

Matt Linden

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California Gov. Jerry Brown accused President Donald Trump Monday of hurting American auto manufacturers by advocating for fewer restrictions on mass polluters in the US.

Brown indicated that the Trump administration’s effort to boost US coal producers and weaken fuel-economy standards will ultimately help countries like China, where businesses are going all-in on electric vehicles and other clean-energy products.

Trump is “building the Chinese auto industry” while destroying America’s own, Brown said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times.

Brown signed a bill Monday which instructs the state’s energy producers to move toward carbon free-sources by 2045. He has frequently clashed with Trump on environmental regulations.

The California governor criticized the Trump administration’s move in August to scrap an initiative requiring all US cars and trucks to average more than 50 miles per gallon by 2025.

“The big driver besides California is China,” Brown told the LA Times on Monday. “The big saboteur is Donald Trump. He’s trying to subsidize coal and destroy the electric car.”

Brown, who is considered a leading advocate for environmental regulation, signed an executive order in January calling for at least five million of the vehicles on the road in California to produce zero emission by 2030. The $2.5 billion project outlined plans for the state to build 250,000 new charging stations for electric vehicles by 2025, according to Brown’s executive order.

Transportation contributes to 50% of California’s greenhouse-gas emissions, the executive order said.

The Environmental Protection Agency says that cars, trucks, buses and SUV’s built today operate 99% cleaner than those produced in the 1970s, which has helped reduce the air pollution in the US by 73% from 1970 to 2016.

California, represents the largest market for zero-emission vehicles in the country and nearly half of all zero-emission vehicles in the US are sold there, according to the executive order. There were 350,000 zero-emission cars in California in 2018, rising from roughly 25,000 in 2012.

Comparably, there were more 260 million gas-powered vehicles on the road in the US in 2018, and fewer than 1 million zero-emissions ones, Forbes reported.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance predicts there will be over 11 million zero-emission vehicles sold worldwide by 2025; 30 million by 2030; and 60 million by 2040 as other countries begin applying stricter environmental regulations on cars running on fossil fuels.

China announced plans in January to halt the production of more than 500 different types of car models in January for not meeting the government’s fuel economy standard, The New York Times reported.

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