New Report Shows U.S. Will Miss Out on Thousands of Future Manufacturing Jobs Under Proposed Fuel Economy Rollback

In a detailed analysis released today of the impact of the administration’s proposal to rollback the nation’s leading fuel economy and vehicle greenhouse gas (GHG) standards, the BlueGreen Alliance found that the U.S. stands to miss out on thousands of future manufacturing jobs in a variety of sectors within the auto industry.

August 1, 2019

The report, entitled Tech@Risk: The Domestic Innovation, Technology Deployment, Manufacturing, and Jobs at Risk in Stepping Away from Global Leadership on Clean Cars, showed the manufacturing growth expected under today’s standards and estimated, by contrast, how the loss in demand for advanced technology that would come from rolling back the fuel economy standards would result in between 89,000 and 202,000 of tomorrow’s jobs lost or foregone.

The analysis compared the technologies that would have been deployed by automakers under the current standards through 2025 with their deployment under the far weaker proposed rule and investigates the impact of the anticipated rollback on the manufacturers and workers that build those technologies.

“Attempts to weaken fuel economy and emissions standards threaten jobs, investment and innovation across the country and put the progress of the past decade at risk,” said United Steelworkers (USW) International President Thomas M. Conway. “Good jobs, a clean environment and advanced technology must go hand in hand, and our members have proven they’re willing and able to lead the way.”

“The UAW worked carefully with all stakeholders to achieve a balanced approach toward the phase in of emissions standards that would protect jobs and the environment,” said United Auto Workers President Gary Jones. “The BlueGreen Alliance’s report illustrates that well-crafted regulations can be good for both workers and the environment. Proposed rollbacks threaten this careful balance, jeopardizing workers and the environment.”

“This report shows where we stand to lose out on future jobs if the administration’s proposal were to be implemented,” said Jason Walsh, Executive Director of the BlueGreen Alliance. “As countries worldwide are rushing to lead in the next generation of automotive technology and Americans are debating the future of manufacturing jobs, this proposed rollback would be taking us in the wrong direction. We should be doing more, not less, to ensure we keep building cleaner and more advanced vehicles—and the technology, manufacturing and jobs that go into them—here in the United States.”

Last year the administration released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that proposed to halt increases in the standards at 2020 levels. The administration’s own analysis found that doing so would result in 60,000 fewer jobs in the auto industry and would cut investment in the industry by approximately $30 billion a year. Tech@Risk detailed the American manufacturing facilities that build the advanced automotive technologies that are impacted by the rules.

“In proposing this rollback, the agencies have ignored the latest scientific data and analysis, the results of which will be tangible negative impacts on the environment, consumers’ pocketbooks, and, as this report shows, on innovation, technology deployment, and jobs,” said David Cooke, Senior Vehicles Analyst with the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Tech@Risk utilized two alternate approaches to estimating technology deployment. The report showed that—regardless of the model used—the proposed weakening of the nation’s fuel economy and greenhouse gas (GHG) standards would dramatically slow the adoption of advanced vehicle technologies, cutting demand for products made by hundreds of manufacturers and hundreds of thousands of workers all across the country.

“Our nation’s leading vehicle emissions and greenhouse gas standards have long provided the strong, certain, regulatory framework needed to inspire investment in innovative advanced vehicle technology in the United States. Tech@Risk provides the most detailed picture to date of the risk that dramatically weakening these standards creates for the companies and workers making these technologies,” said Zoe Lipman, Director of the Vehicles and Advanced Transportation Program at the BlueGreen Alliance. “Stepping away from leadership on clean cars also carries the added risk of losing U.S. competitive edge and ceding investment in the most advanced vehicles and technology to other nations. Rolling back these standards is a mistake and will have real negative impacts on the American economy, workers, and communities nationwide.”

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