Ceres-led group of businesses appeals to EPA, supports auto-industry standards - Smart Energy Decisions

Energy Efficiency, GHG Emissions, Regulation  -  March 13, 2017

Ceres-led group of businesses appeals to EPA, supports auto-industry standards

The nonprofit sustainability organization Ceres and a group of large U.S. businesses have sent a letter to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt urging the federal regulator to retain fuel efficiency and emissions standards for passenger cars and light trucks. 

The letter, sent by the Ceres Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy group, or BICEP, stressed the benefits that the regulations provide for the nation's businesses and the economy, according to a March 3 news release.

"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 letter reads.

Earlier in 2016, a group of 40 investors with more than $740 million in assets under management signed a letter to EPA administrator Gina McCarthy expressing their support for the current standards.

"The standards represent a critical opportunity to strengthen the U.S. economy and create jobs – both by benefiting the auto industry and by ensuring fuel cost savings, which in turn will increase spending on non-energy goods and services," the investors' letter read. "In addition, given the critical role of strong standards in driving innovation, the standards will also help ensure the global competitiveness of the industry."

According to the news release, the auto industry has seen record profits in recent years while still meeting the current fuel-efficiency targets. A direct result of those efforts is the increasing number of advanced-technology vehicles available to consumers, saving them gas and money while benefiting the industry.

Citing numbers from "More Jobs Per Gallon," a study commissioned by Ceres and authored by Management Information Services, Ceres' senior director of policy, Anne Kelly, said as they stand, the current standards have the potential to create about 484,000 new jobs and boost the national gross economic output by about $21 billion.

The coalition of businesses comprising BICEP represent $400 billion in annual revenue, according to the letter.

The investors' letter was sent by Walden Asset Management.

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