BlueGreen Alliance Urges Strong Light-Duty Fuel Efficiency Standards

The BlueGreen Alliance supports the administration's efforts to create new fuel efficiency and greenhouse standards for light-duty vehicles—standards to strengthen the U.S. auto industry, and create more opportunity for American workers.

July 18, 2011

The BlueGreen Alliance today sent the following letter to President Barack Obama supporting the administration’s efforts to create new fuel efficiency and greenhouse standards for light duty vehicles sold in model years 2017-2025.

The letter, signed by CEOs of the BlueGreen Alliance’s Auto Task Force, encourages the administration to propose standards that maximize oil savings and reduce GHG pollution, strengthen the U.S. auto industry, increase the deployment of advanced technology, protect U.S automotive jobs, and create more opportunity for American workers.

You can also read the letter here.

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July 18, 2011

 

President Barack Obama

White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington, D.C. 20050

Dear President Obama,

America’s working families continue to struggle with high gas prices and the fragile economic recovery. With your leadership we have an opportunity to help save consumers money at the gas pump, create new American jobs, and strengthen the economy by setting strong fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas (GHG) standards.

The BlueGreen Alliance, a national partnership between labor unions and environmental organizations dedicated to expanding the number and quality of jobs in the clean energy economy, strongly supports your efforts to create new fuel efficiency and GHG standards for light-duty vehicles sold in model years 2017-2025. We encourage you to propose standards that maximize oil savings and reductions of GHG pollution, strengthen the U.S. auto industry, increase the deployment of advanced technology, protect U.S automotive jobs, and create more opportunity for American workers.

Every day our country sends an estimated $1 billion to foreign countries to pay for oil. Strong standards will keep more of those dollars here in the United States, creating jobs and economic opportunities both inside and outside the auto industry. Based on the agencies’ initial technical assessment, the net consumer savings on fuel expenditures will be very substantial and will provide much-needed relief at the pump.

By developing and producing advanced fuel-saving technology in the United States, automakers and suppliers can create quality jobs and provide the clean, fuel-efficient cars and light trucks consumers want.

Automakers are already making these investments in response to the historic 2012-2016 standards as well as growing consumer demand. From pickup trucks to sedans, American automakers are introducing models with clean, fuel-efficient technology into the marketplace. Models such as the redesigned Ford Explorer SUV and the plug-in hybrid Chevy Volt demonstrate the range of conventional and advanced technology improvements available to consumers today.

In 2008 we saw the consequences when automakers had difficulty responding to consumer shifts in response to volatile fuel prices. Strong, feasible standards will provide long-term certainty to the industry and ensure that innovation continues and recent investments in advanced technology pay off. They will also set the stage for weaning America off foreign oil dependence for good, and for the long-term reductions in GHG pollution we need to create a sustainable clean energy economy.

Evidence already exists that bringing cleaner vehicles to the market creates American jobs. For example, the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing loan program will preserve or create nearly 40,000 jobs in the U.S. auto sector, retooling America’s factories to produce advanced technology vehicles and their key components. The Battery and Electric Drive Component grant program is helping establish the United States as a world leader in the production of this exciting new automotive technology.

We also request your continuing support for federal efforts to assist the auto industry retool to meet demand for cleaner, more efficient cars. We are committed to advocate with you for this important support for our domestic industry. Consumers looking to purchase vehicles in the next few years are expressing interest in higher fuel economy. Building the next generation of advanced vehicles in the United States will create tens of thousands of new engineering and manufacturing jobs and strengthen America’s rebounding auto sector.

This is a unique opportunity to fulfill your commitments to create American jobs, protect consumers – whether they drive a car or truck – from high gas prices, and to cut America’s dependence on foreign oil. BlueGreen Alliance partners are committed to promoting the fact that green auto jobs are a win-win for all Americans, and to raise awareness among consumers of the pocketbook significance of fuel-savings technology.

As you prepare to introduce the proposed standards, we look forward to continuing our engagement with your administration. We applaud the efforts undertaken so far and believe that strong, feasible standards can guarantee the best possible outcome for American workers, our communities, the economy, and the environment.

Sincerely,

Leo W. Gerard, International President, Unitede Steelworkers
Michael Brune, Executive Director, Sierra Club
Larry Cohen, President, Communications Workers of America
Kevin Knobloch, President, Union of Concerned Scientists
Larry Schweiger, President and CEO, National Wildlife Federation
Bob King, President, United Auto Workers
Peter Lehner, Executive Director, Natural Resources Defense Council
David Foster, Executive Director, BlueGreen Alliance

 

CC: The Honorable Lisa Jackson – Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
The Honorable Ray LaHood – Secretary, U.S. Department of Transportation
The Honorable David Strickland – Administrator, National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration
The Honorable Nancy Sutley – Chair, Council on Environmental Quality
The Honorable Ron Bloom, Assistant to the President for Manufacturing Policy