A California climate-change bill that could see a vote this week in the state Assembly has some automakers worried.
The bill, the Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act of 2015, seeks in part to cut petroleum use by motor vehicles in half by 2030 from 1990 levels. It is part of Gov. Jerry Brown's broad plan to ward off climate change by curbing greenhouse gas emissions in the state.
The bill doesn't mandate new targets for tailpipe emissions or zero-emission vehicle sales. Rather, it directs the California Air Resources Board, which regulates auto tailpipe emissions, to issue a plan by 2017 to achieve the 2030 targets, following its normal regulatory process.
Current California auto emissions policies seek to achieve a 20 percent reduction in petroleum use by 2030, according to CARB. Those rules are aligned with the U.S. EPA's tailpipe emissions rules and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's corporate average fuel economy regulations, allowing automakers to sell the same vehicles with the same emissions-control technologies in all 50 states.
That's one reason why the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, a Washington trade group whose 12 members include the Detroit 3, opposes the pending California bill as it stands. The trade group says enactment of the bill would disrupt the alignment of state and federal standards, and would "prejudice" the midterm review of the national plan to boost average fuel economy to 54.5 mpg in the 2025 model year.