U.S. Congressman Tim Ryan (OH – 13) today joined two leaders of the United Steelworkers (USW) from the Akron-Cleveland area at a press event the day before they will travel to Washington, D.C. to testify at a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hearing on fuel economy standards. The USW leaders said they will be urging the EPA to retain strong fuel economy standards for model year 2022-2025 light-duty cars, trucks, and SUVs to protect the jobs of thousands of Ohio workers building components for today’s rapidly innovating auto industry.
“Strong fuel economy standards are driving innovation and creating and sustaining jobs in our local communities,” said Congressman Ryan. “I’m proud to stand here today with these USW leaders who will be taking the voice of hundreds of workers with them as they go to Washington to testify at the EPA hearing tomorrow.”
A recent BlueGreen Alliance report found that there are at least 80 facilities and 28,000 manufacturing workers employed building clean, efficient vehicle technology in Ohio.
Jack Hefner, President of USW Local 2 represents members in Akron at Maxion Wheels, Goodyear, and other automotive industry suppliers. He discussed how cleaner cars are rebuilding America’s manufacturing sector, saving consumers at the pump, and protecting the environment.
“We’re going to Washington, D.C. tomorrow to stand up for our fellow members and tell the EPA that they should keep strong fuel economy standards to protect current jobs and encourage more innovation and job creation,” said Hefner. “As president of Local 2, I represent workers building cutting-edge technologies that are helping to make our light-duty cars, trucks, and SUVs cleaner than ever. We are part of a much larger group of workers that have benefitted from these clean car standards.
Dan Boone, President of USW Local 979 represents members at the ArcelorMittal plant in Cleveland, one of most innovative and productive steel mills in the world that makes lighter, stronger steel primarily for cleaner vehicles.
“Today’s fuel economy standards are proof that sound regulations can go hand in hand with making manufacturing thrive. Ohio and auto sector are proving you can build jobs while cutting pollution and enhancing energy security,” said Boone. “I’m going to Washington, D.C. tomorrow to testify because our country needs to grow the middle class, not make things harder for them. We need good jobs and fair wages, so that working families can provide for their children, save for a rainy day, and invest in their communities.”
“From an environmental, public health, and consumer standpoint, it is a no-brainer to keep strong standards for fuel economy. As-is, the fuel economy standards will nearly double the average fuel efficiency of new cars and light trucks, deeply cut pollution and save consumers billions at the pump,” said BlueGreen Alliance Ohio Regional Program Manager Lee Geisse. “We need to keep them strong and that is the message that all of us will be bringing to our nation’s capital.”