President Donald Trump raged against the auto industry Wednesday, as car manufacturers continue to balk at his administration’s planned rollback of Obama-era fuel emission standards. The Trump administration has long planned to stop Obama’s policy, but California, which receives a waiver to enact its own fuel policies, responded by enacting tougher emission standards of its own. Now, automakers are caught in the middle between the two competing standards—but more are taking California’s side, including four of the world’s largest automakers. And, predictably, Trump isn’t thrilled.
After deriding the “politically correct Automobile Companies” and their “foolish executives” earlier on Twitter Wednesday, Trump returned Wednesday evening to once again whine about his failed policy, this time by invoking automobile pioneer Henry Ford. “The Legendary Henry Ford and Alfred P. Sloan, the Founders of Ford Motor Company and General Motors, are ‘rolling over’ at the weakness of current car company executives willing to spend more money on a car that is not as safe or good, and cost $3,000 more to consumers. Crazy!” Trump tweeted. The president then claimed 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,” insisting that his administration’s plan is “a far better alternative, which is much better for consumers!”
As with many things the president has said, his tweets were filled with a number of totally false claims. The White House’s insistence that their curbed fuel standards would be safer—which seems to be based on the logic that fewer people will buy more expensive, fuel-efficient vehicles, making things more dangerous because of the number of older cars on the road—has been debunked by Ohio State University’s Center for Automotive Research, as have claims that more fuel-efficient vehicles are less safe. In fact, the Associated Press reported that in private emails, Environmental Protection Agency officials admitted Trump’s regulations would cause an additional 17 highway deaths per year. […]