GM cut spending on lobbying by 29 percent image

General Motors announced it spent 29 percent less on lobbying the federal government in the third quarter this year than last year.

However, the company still spent $1.78 million to influence legislators and agencies on gas-mileage and pollution regulations, electric vehicle infrastructure funding, distracted-driving regulations and other issues.

The automaker spent $2.49 million on lobbying in last year’s third quarter and $1.94 million in the second quarter of this year. A dozen lobbyists were employed by GM to deal with the Congress, the White House and federal agencies, including the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Energy, Defense, Transportation and State departments, and other parts of the government.

GM lobbied Congress, the EPA, NHTSA and the Obama administration on gas-mileage and greenhouse-gas emissions regulations for 2017-25. Earlier this month, the Obama administration released regulations that will nearly double fuel economy standards for cars and pickup trucks by 2025, a plan that is likely to cost automakers $157 billion. Cars and trucks are required to average 54.5 mpg by 2025, with implementating of the new regulations expected to raise the average cost of a car by over $2,000.

The U.S. Treasury owns 26.5% of GM following the $49.5 billion aid it provided to GM to save it in 2009. The remaining 500 million shares will be sold by the government when the stock market recovers.