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Published on September 17th, 2018 | by Steve Hanley

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California Governor Jerry Brown: Trump Destroying American Auto Industry

September 17th, 2018 by  


There’s no love lost between California governor Jerry Brown and putative president Donald Trump. Pretty much anything one is for, the other is against — whether it’s turning local cops into ICE agents, the legalization of marijuana, or combating carbon emissions. At the global climate conference in San Francisco last week, Brown stated his state would launch “its own damned satellite” to monitor carbon and methane emissions after Trump threatened to defund NASA’s efforts to do the same.

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times prior to the summit, Brown had harsh words for Trump on the subject of reducing emissions from the transportation sector. “The big driver besides California is China. The big saboteur is Donald Trump. He’s trying to subsidize coal and destroy the electric car. If he gets his way and is reelected, I predict China will be the overarching, dominant car manufacturer in the world. Because they’re spending billions to get the batteries to get the electric cars,” Brown said.

Brown might have just as well included the major auto manufacturers of sabotaging their own industry with their slow motion transition from internal combustion powered vehicles to electrics. Virtually all of them, via their membership in the Association of Automobile Manufacturers, are pleading with the US government not to tighten fuel economy regulations so they can continue cranking out flotillas of F-150s and the like. As Brown sees it, the industry is cutting off its own nose to spite its face, as my old Irish grandmother would say.

Trump has initiated a high stakes trade war with China, but Brown thinks that action will ultimately benefit China. “People think Trump’s just fighting China,” told the LA Times. “He’s building the Chinese auto industry and destroying the future American auto industry.”

Trump is not the only one threatening to destroy the US auto industry. Tesla is doing a pretty good job of doing that on its own. As Zachary points out, Tesla is outselling all the luxury and near luxury manufacturers in the US combined, now that the Model 3 is starting to be available in significant numbers.

“People don’t want to buy electric cars!” the corporate types in Detroit cry at every opportunity. Wrong, octane breath. They don’t want to buy the crappy compliance car junk you guys are peddling. The US auto industry is rushing headlong toward their own personal Nokia moment, after which their leaders will all pile into their corporate jets and head to Washington to plead for taxpayer dollars to bail them out — again.

Wouldn’t it make more sense to invest some of those dollars now to promote the electric car revolution? Not in the alternate universe of Donald Trump and his enablers. Who has a better grasp of the future, Trump or Brown? “We’ll see,” said the Zen master.


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About the Author

Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Rhode Island and anywhere else the Singularity may take him. His muse is Charles Kuralt -- "I see the road ahead is turning. I wonder what's around the bend?" You can follow him on Google + and on Twitter.



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