Updated Report: Automakers Reduce Risk, Enhance Competitiveness With Strong MPG/Emission Standards

Jun 6, 2018 12:00 PM ET

June 6, 2018 /3BL Media/ - In the wake of reports that the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) may propose rollbacks to vehicle efficiency and emission standards, Ceres has released an updated analysis and fact sheetpointing to the economic benefits of strong national standards.

Major investors and companies are voicing concerns that the administration’s potential move could blunt a key driver of the U.S. economy, hurt the global competitiveness of the U.S. auto industry, and create significant regulatory uncertainty for the auto industry.

Carol Lee Rawn, director of transportation at Ceres, recently testified before the EPA Science Advisory Board about the risk that weakened standards would pose to U.S. automakers’ global competitiveness, also telling the Board that auto suppliers, which represent the largest sector of manufacturing jobs in the U.S. and which employ over two and a half times more Americans than automakers, would be hit particularly hard.

“Our analysis found that, if the standards are frozen at 2020 levels, suppliers would lose $20 billion between 2021-2025 in sales of fuel efficiency technologies, even under low fuel prices,” Rawn said.

Companies with combined annual revenues topping $400 billion sent a letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt on the matter in March via Ceres’ BICEP Network. The letter concludes by pointing out that the rollback would potentially splinter the U.S. auto market, as 13 states and the District of Columbia—comprising approximately one-third of the market— already have stringent emissions standards in place, and have indicated that they would fight any effort to weaken the standards, leading to regulatory uncertainty, litigation and delay.

“Weakening the standards will harm state economies across the nation, increasing fuel costs and preventing employers and consumers from fully realizing the economic and environmental benefits of cleaner, more efficient transportation,” said Anne Kelly, senior director of policy and the BICEP Network at Ceres. 

In her testimony, Rawn concluded that as the rest of the world moves to more stringent regulation, “the United States should position itself to compete in this new world by retaining or strengthening the current standards, not weakening them.”


Ceres is a sustainability nonprofit organization working with the most influential investors and companies to build leadership and drive solutions throughout the economy. For more information, visit www.ceres.org and follow @CeresNews.