Investors and Businesses Decry Proposed Rollback of Tailpipe Emissions and MPG Standards
August 2, 2018 /3BL Media/ - In response to the Trump administration’s proposed rollback of vehicle fuel economy and emissions standards, influential investors and business leaders are raising concerns that the change will undermine the global competitiveness of the U.S. auto industry–especially auto suppliers, the largest manufacturing sector in the U.S.–in addition to spurring years of regulatory uncertainty and litigation. More than one-third of the U.S. vehicle market has adopted California’s emissions standards, which are also under attack, and 17 states (plus the District of Columbia), representing approximately half of the U.S. vehicle market, have announced their intention to mount a legal challenge to any attempt to roll back the standards. Other stakeholders have announced that they plan to sue as well, and investors have repeatedly called for retaining the standards.
“If we really want a strong economy, we must encourage American ingenuity and produce vehicles that can meet increasingly stringent international standards,” said David Richardson, executive director of Impax Asset Management, which manages more than $15 billion in assets for institutional investors around the world. “Rolling back the standards would stall innovation and put the U.S. auto industry at a disadvantage.”
In addition, U.S. corporations with combined annual revenues topping $400 billion, from Adobe and General Mills to Mars and Nike, sent a letter to EPA asking the administration, via the Ceres BICEP Network, to keep the current standards that reduce pollution and improve gas mileage.
Carol Lee Rawn, director of transportation at Ceres, who recently testified before the EPA Science Advisory Board about the risk weakened standards would pose to the industry and economy, says, “Our analysis found that, if standards are frozen at 2020 levels, suppliers would lose $20 billion between 2021 and 2025 in sales of fuel efficiency technologies, even under low fuel prices.” Auto suppliers employ over 2.5 times more American workers than automakers, Rawn notes, so rolling back the standards after suppliers have invested in developing and producing fuel savings technologies would threaten both jobs and the economy at large.
“Major investors and businesses understand that rolling back the Corporate Average Fuel Economy and emissions standards will undermine the global competitiveness of the U.S. auto industry at a time when the rest of the world is moving in the opposite direction, responding to consumer demand for affordable clean cars that save them money,” Rawn says.
Ceres is a sustainability nonprofit organization working with the most influential investors and companies to build leadership and drive solutions throughout the economy. The Ceres BICEP Network comprises influential companies advocating for stronger climate and clean energy policies at the state and federal level in the U.S. For more information, visit www.ceres.org and follow @CeresNews.