Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Environmental Groups Point to Jobs Supported by Clean Car Rules

  • 288,000 U.S. jobs tied to parts that boost fuel efficiency
  • Groups have called on U.S. to maintain 2025 auto standards

More than a quarter million U.S. jobs are tied to the production of technologies and materials used to improve vehicle fuel economy, according to a new report released Tuesday by environmental groups.

The report by the Natural Resources Defense Council and the BlueGreen Alliance seeks to draw attention to jobs supported by auto efficiency regulations under review by the Trump administration. That review was initiated by President Donald Trump in March and directs the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to decide by next April whether to change greenhouse gas standards for 2022-2025 that require annual increases in vehicle efficiency.

The report found that about 1,200 U.S. factories and engineering centers in 48 states produce components like advanced transmissions or electric motors, or advanced materials such as carbon fiber or aluminum used in vehicles. Those locations employ some 288,000 workers, more than double the number recorded in a 2011 version of the report, the groups said.

"There has been a huge amount of clean vehicle innovation over the last five years," said Luke Tonachel, director of the clean vehicles and fuels project at the Natural Resources Defense Council, a New York-based environmental group. "Clean vehicle innovations are key to both protecting the environment while also keeping the the U.S. manufacturers in a globally competitive position on technology."

Current U.S. auto efficiency rules aim to boost average new vehicle fuel economy to more than 50 miles per gallon by 2025. An automaker-funded study released in March found that the standards would lead to higher vehicle prices and reduce auto-sector employment in the short term. The U.S. could see a net gain of about 150,000 jobs by 2031 as fuel savings at the pump outweigh higher vehicle costs, one of the report’s authors said at the time.

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