Today’s announcement from President Trump to reopen the clean vehicle standards is a huge setback for business, consumers and the economy. The move opens the door to weakening the standards and rejects findings based on years of comprehensive and robust analysis informed by a wide range of stakeholders and technical experts.
“Weakening the standards would harm auto parts suppliers, who employ two and a half times more Americans than auto companies, and who, relying on current standards, have invested heavily in fuel savings technologies. In addition, if the standards are weakened, consumer dollars will be diverted to pay for more gasoline,” said Carol Lee Rawn, transportation director at Ceres. “When consumers save money on gas, they spend more on local goods and services, which benefits businesses, jobs and the U.S. economy.”
Ceres-commissioned research by independent auto analysts Alan Baum and Dan Luria shows that the standards help the U.S. auto industry stay competitive, profitable, and innovative, and that if the standards were weakened, suppliers could lose up to $1.42 billion in sales of fuel efficient technologies.
“U.S. automakers have been caught flat-footed before, when prices at the pump spiked and they weren’t ready with the kind of fuel-efficient vehicles buyers wanted,” Rawn added. “Strong fuel economy standards offer insurance against future gas price spikes.”
The Ceres Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy, a network of businesses representing $400 billion in annual revenue, released a letter last week urging Mr. Pruitt to leave the standards in place.
“We support staying the course on the standards because they represent an important opportunity to strengthen our economy, save consumers and businesses money, enhance the competitiveness of the American auto industry, and mitigate climate risk,” the businesses wrote.
In addition, 40 investors with more than $740 billion in assets under management sent Pruitt a similar letter voicing strong support for retaining the standards.
“Consistent standards provide market certainty, especially for suppliers, and ensure returns on investments in research, development and production of fuel savings technologies. Mr. Pruitt’s action creates uncertainty and will undermine the global competitiveness of the U.S. auto industry,” Rawn said.