Auto industry's biggest trade group speaks out against Murkowski bill, throws support behind EPA regulation of greenhouse gas emissions.
We can assume that rail, transit and bicycle groups want governmental action on climate change, since they are clean, green modes of transport. The surprising news that's just coming out is that even major car companies and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers want strong climate action. Or, at the least, they don't want Murkowski's Dirty Air Act to pass.
The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers has now come out in official opposition to Senator Lisa Murkowski's (R-Alaska) Dirty Air Act resolution, which would block the EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions.
Why does the Alliance, which includes 11 major car companies including Toyota, Ford, Volkswagen and GM, oppose Murkowski's attempt to keep the EPA's hands tied?
Basically, they care a lot about an important deal they've made with the Obama administration that would be pulled out by the roots if Murkowski's Dirty Air Act went through.
"At this time last year, the auto industry faced the alarming possibility of having to comply with multiple sets of inconsistent fuel economy standards," Alliance President and CEO Dave McCurdy wrote in a letter he sent to Murkowski on March 17. If Murkowski's effort succeeds, McCurdy wrote, "the historic agreement creating the One National Program for regulating vehicle fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions would collapse."
This seems to be the auto industry's main "climate change" concern, and apparently auto industry lobbyists in Washington have been opposing Murkowski's resolution for weeks for exactly this reason.
Report finds climate, energy policy an auto industry job grower, not a job killer
A new report commissioned by the Center for American Progress (CAP), the Natural Resources Defense Council and the United Auto Workers finds that there are important economic reasons for the auto industry to get behind comprehensive climate and clean energy legislation as well.
With the right incentives in climate and clean energy legislation, the CAP found that the auto industry could get as many as 150,000 new jobs by 2020.
Senior fellow at the CAP, Bracken Hendricks, says that the report "tracks a trend where more efficiency means more jobs." Why does more efficiency mean more jobs? Because more efficiency means "more investment in skilled labor, and in high-quality manufactured content, and that directly translates to jobs."
"The move to greater fuel economy means greater labor content per vehicle and higher employment across the fleet," the report states. "This will include new investment in a host of incremental improvements to conventional gasoline powered internal combustion engines, from new controls for valves and timing, to variable speed transmissions and advanced electronics. It will also include entirely new systems like hybrid drive trains and advanced diesel engines."
The report is "very concrete", not even assuming the invention and development of new technology that would most likely result from climate and clean energy legislation as well.
A recent study by NASA shows that automobiles are the largest net contributor to climate change pollution. With even the auto industry getting behind strong climate action, it seems that Congressmen championing the legislation should have no problem getting the necessary votes.