The federal government today warned California of “legal consequences” if it does not backtrack on its agreement with Ford, Honda, BMW and Volkswagen to make vehicles more efficient and cleaner.

“The purpose of this letter is to alert California that this framework agreement appears to be inconsistent with federal law”, the Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) said in a letter sent to the California Air and Resources Board.

The letter warns about “legal consequences” if California goes ahead with the agreement, while noting that only the federal government has the authority to set emissions and fuel-saving standards.

Manufacturers voluntarily agreed in July with the state government to continue annual reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from cars, vans and small cargo trucks until 2026.

The agreement with California ignores President Donald Trump’s administration’s plans to lower environmental standards.

In October 2017, the federal government announced it would withdraw the Clean Energy Plan promoted by former President Barack Obama (2009-2017), which required states to meet specific carbon dioxide emission reduction standards.

The rules of the Obama era sought to avoid the emission of 570 million tons of greenhouse gases by 2030, the equivalent of eliminating emissions in one year from 140 coal plants.

In a statement, California Governor Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, stressed that the state will not give in to pressure.

“California stands up to bullies and will continue to work to strengthen the protections of clean cars ensure the health and safety of our children and families,” Newsom said.

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