Fuel Economy Standards Have Driven Investment, Innovation, and Job Creation

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, under Administrator Pruitt, is reported to be considering notice of proposed rule making, laying out the administration’s plan to roll back the nation’s world leading vehicle fuel economy standards.

May 11, 2018

The current standards have driven billions of dollars in investment, have aided in the creation of hundreds of thousands of jobs in components and materials manufacturing, and has kept America competitive in the global market.

As automakers meet today with the administration on the direction of the standards, Zoe Lipman, BlueGreen Alliance Director of Vehicles and Advanced Transportation, said:

“Nationwide, a decade of enhanced innovation and investment to build the best and most efficient cars, trucks, and SUVs in the world is currently anchoring a recovery in American manufacturing. Stepping away from these standards risks chaos in the industry and threatens investment and jobs in manufacturing communities across America.”

Resources

The BlueGreen Alliance recently released a report entitled Driving Investment: How Fuel Efficiency is Rebuilding American Manufacturing tracking investment in the nation’s automotive plants over the past decade as automakers have implemented current fuel economy standards. The report illustrates that the “costs” of compliance with fuel economy standards represent added automaker spending on product and manufacturing innovation, additional investments in factories and technology, and purchases of additional and upgraded components from suppliers. In turn, these costs represent a much-needed, multi-billion dollar reinvestment in American manufacturing and jobs nationwide. Specifically the report found:

  • A total of $76 billion in new and promised investment in the nation’s automotive plants since 2008.
  • U.S. automakers have invested $64 billion in facilities across the country, completing 258 investments at 100 factories.
  • An additional $12 billion in investments in 37 facilities are underway or promised by 2020. 

While some of that $76 billion represents business-as-usual investment, a significant portion is new, added, or enhanced investment in the innovative products and manufacturing processes developed to meet the nation’s commonsense fuel economy and greenhouse gas standards. View a visualization of those investments here.

Driving Investment builds on a May 2017 report, Supplying Ingenuity II: U.S. Suppliers of Key Clean Fuel-Efficient Vehicle Technologies, from the BlueGreen Alliance and Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), which underscores how leading vehicle fuel economy and greenhouse gas standards have been critical to the automotive recovery, and remain critical to sustaining it. The report found:

  • More than 288,000 workers in 1,200 factories and engineering facilities in 48 states are building the components, materials, and technology needed to make today’s vehicles more fuel efficient than ever.
  • The auto industry has brought back jobs and seen a dramatic return to profitability and record sales, while also successfully implementing the current national fuel economy and greenhouse gas standards across all types and sizes of vehicles.
  • For the past eight years we have seen sustained recovery in automotive manufacturing jobs—and in U.S. manufacturing jobs as a whole—after years of decline beginning even before the recession.
  • Combined with our interactive map, you can see the economic reach of this enhanced investment in a new generation of cleaner, more fuel-efficient vehicles.

If you have any questions, need additional information, or would like to set up an interview with one of our vehicles experts, please contact our Senior Communications Associate, Abby Harvey at aharvey@bluegreenalliance.org or 202-706-6904.