A war has been brewing between the state of California and the Trump administration, which has for a while been declaring its desire to roll back Obama-era fuel economy standards and revoke the California Air Resources Board’s ability to continue setting the strictest tailpipe emissions standards in the U.S.
The administration has claimed that the goal of easing up on fuel economy requirements is to significantly reduce overall vehicle costs and to get more people into newer, safer cars—the veracity of those claims have been disputed by a number of news outlets.
Automakers have been speaking out against the proposed rollback of EPA standards, as they’re worried that it will result in differing emissions standards between California (and states that follow its standards) and the rest of the nation, and that’s a logistical and technical nightmare. A number of automakers came to an agreement with the state California on emissions requirements earlier this summer, deciding to continue building vehicles that meet strict emissions standards, though the standards aren’t quite as strict as the original Obama-era standards.
Still, automakers’ move to work with California and effectively ignore Trump’s drastic standards rollback did not thrill the president, as this tweet—in which he calls automakers “politically correct” and claims their move will yield more expensive cars—from Wednesday demonstrates:
Oh, you didn’t think that was all he tweeted, did you? Nope, it gets weirder when he singles out Ford:
“Henry Ford would be very disappointed if he saw his modern-day descendants wanting to build a much more expensive car, that is far less safe and doesn’t work as well, because execs don’t want to fight California regulators,” he wrote, before claiming that his rollback is better for consumers, and that California will lead to automakers’ financial demise.
Here’s what FoMoCo had to say about this:
Ford said in a statement that it is focused on acting to protect the environment while also protecting the affordability of vehicles. “This agreement with California provides regulatory stability while reducing CO2 more than complying with two different standards,” it said.
This all comes after a recent white house summoning of automakers, per the New York Times:
The White House, blindsided by a pact between California and four automakers to oppose President Trump’s auto emissions rollbacks, has mounted an effort to prevent any more companies from joining California.
Toyota, Fiat Chrysler and General Motors were all summoned by a senior Trump adviser to a White House meeting last month where he pressed them to stand by the president’s own initiative, according to four people familiar with the talks.
Yikes, things are getting—I mean, staying—weird.