California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said Friday that he doesn't want the news about attempted pipe bomb attacks to distract from the real "ticking time bomb" of climate change.
“And while today’s news may be all about these pipe bombs that are threatening so many Americans, let us not ignore that there’s a ticking time bomb growing in America the longer we wait to tackle climate change,” Becerra said. “We won’t let someone tell us not to act.”
The Democrat made the statement while holding a press conference with Democratic California Gov. Jerry Brown on a 20-state effort, plus the District of Columbia, in asking the Trump administration to withdraw its proposal to repeal fuel economy and greenhouse gas standards for cars and light trucks.
However, at least part of the press conference was taken up by questions on the pipe bombs. Becerra was "happy to know no one has been hurt,” saying "no one should be threatened because of their political view." He said the actions should be condemned.
At least 10 pipe bombs were sent in mail parcels to Democratic critics of President Trump earlier this week, including both former President Barack Obama and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. The sender of the bombs was apprehended on Friday.
Friday also marks the deadline for submitting comments on the proposed rollback of the clean car rules. The 21 attorneys general that California is leading are voicing a strong legal opposition to the Trump proposal in addition to calling for the federal government to withdraw its rule to essentially freeze the stricter Obama-era standards at a much lower level.
Becerra said there are obvious divisions in the auto industry, especially since General Motors announced Friday morning that it will be asking the administration to apply California's "zero emission vehicle" program across the nation to incentivize electric vehicle growth.
It shows the automakers are “not speaking in one voice,” said Becerra. The auto giant is “recognizing their future is not with Donald Trump” but with “solving the issue of climate change now,” Becerra said.
GM is part of a automaker trade group that earlier in the Trump administration had called on Trump to reverse the Obama-era fuel-economy rules based on sales of larger trucks and sport utility vehicles. But at the same time, GM's electric car sales are continuing to grow with the popularity of the Chevy Volt.
The Trump administration's rule "foolishly ... mandates gas guzzlers,“ said Gov. Brown on Friday, standing next to Becerra.
“Wrong way to go, Donald," Brown continued. "Get with it. Bad!”
Brown warned that if the administration doesn't reverse its course, the country will lose a growing market for advanced vehicles to China. The governor said China's policies will lead to the fossil fuel car being supplanted by electric cars in just a few years.
He said the call to preserve the Obama-era rules, together with California's waiver to set its own vehicle standards, is about saving jobs and making the U.S. competitive.
But the final determination will be made in court, Brown suggested. Trump "will be out of office long before this law reaches the final determination in a court of law,” the governor said.