Climate change, economic injustice, and racial inequity are the most fundamental challenges we face today—and we know they’re inextricably intertwined. In the transportation sector, which accounts for nearly 30% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, this intersection is visible in the disproportionate impact of transportation emissions on non-white communities. It’s visible in the disparities in access to cleaner vehicles and other mobility options across income levels. And it’s visible in the economic impacts of decades of disinvestment in auto manufacturing communities, which have seen good jobs offshored and anchor facilities shuttered due to ill-conceived policies that gutted the middle class. That’s why it is critical that regulators, policymakers, and advocates coordinate standards, policies, investments, and infrastructure projects that engage and benefit all people—from the manufacturing workers who build the vehicles of the future, to the people who drive them, to the communities they drive through. Strong vehicle emissions standards—accompanied by policies to rebuild manufacturing, protect and create good family supporting jobs, and revitalize communities—are critical to achieving these aims.
While the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalizes its Multi-pollutant Emissions Standards for Light- and Medium-Duty Vehicles, BGA urges the consideration of the following principles:
- Climate policy—when carefully and proactively designed—has the potential to economically revitalize the auto manufacturing workers and communities who will make ambitious emissions and pollution reduction targets possible.
- EPA’s light- and medium-duty vehicle standards have significant impacts on the U.S. auto manufacturing sector, with major opportunities and risks for workers and the communities they live in. EPA should leverage its analytical and research capacities to fully understand these impacts and conduct this rulemaking process accordingly.
- Industry stakeholders must be honest brokers in both the stakeholder process, and in their efforts to comply with the standards.
Read the rest of the comments.