This morning, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed new light- and heavy-duty vehicle greenhouse gas and tailpipe emissions standards that chart a course toward significantly reduced emissions from the nation’s future vehicle fleets. The new standards, which apply to vehicles beginning with Model Year 2027, represent one part of the broader whole-of-government approach the administration is taking to reduce emissions from the transportation sector and meet climate goals. It is essential, however, that the standards also contribute to the protection and creation of high-quality, union jobs in the auto manufacturing sector.
Emissions standards have a proven track record of promoting investment in the U.S. auto sector and creating jobs. The BlueGreen Alliance found that in 2017 more than 1,200 U.S. factories and engineering facilities in 48 states—and 288,000 workers—were building technologies that improve fuel economy and reduce emissions from transportation. Since then, additional auto manufacturing investments and electric vehicle (EV) deployment incentives have been enacted in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) and the Inflation Reduction Act. Recent research from BlueGreen Alliance partner, the Environmental Defense Fund, found that auto manufacturers have announced over $87 billion worth of investments in their EV production capacity here in the United States in the last 18 months. Additional research by the Economic Policy Institute has concluded that when coupled with complimentary policies to ensure workers’ job quality and economic security, the shift to EVs can be beneficial to workers.
In response to the announcement, the BlueGreen Alliance released a statement from Executive Director Jason Walsh:
“We are encouraged by the Biden-Harris administration’s swift action on both light- and heavy-duty vehicle standards, reaffirming its strong commitment to reducing climate-warming greenhouse gas emissions, advancing environmental justice, and motivating manufacturers to build the nation’s clean vehicles of the future here in the United States. But EPA’s standards won’t get us there on their own. It is essential that the investments from the BIL and Inflation Reduction Act be deployed in ways that create and protect good union jobs here in the United States, by automakers that will do right by the workers who build clean vehicles and their components and the communities where those vehicles are built.
“It is through this lens that we will review EPA’s proposed rules and alternatives. We look forward to participating in the stakeholder comment period to help shape the final rules, the future of the domestic auto sector, and the jobs within it.”