Plea for Biden to ease proposed vehicle emissions cuts

A powerful coalition of workers in the US transportation sector has called on the Biden administration to soften its proposed vehicle emissions cuts.

The United Auto Workers union, which represents workers at Ford Motor, General Motors and Chrysler parent Stellantis, said the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed standards should be revised to “better reflect the feasibility of compliance so that the projected adoption of (zero emission vehicles) is set to feasible levels, increases stringency more gradually, and occurs over a greater period of time.”

The current proposals require 67% of new vehicles to be electric by 2032.

The comments by the UAW come ahead of open contract talks before current four-year contracts expire in September.

The UAW said the “EPA must recognise that the current domestic auto assembly footprint is heavily weighted towards the profitable light-duty truck and SUVs that are tasked with funding the EV transition.” 

Last year, nearly 60% of all vehicles produced by unionised automakers in the United States were pickups or SUVs.

“We fear the proposed standards are premature and risk disrupting the market that will make the EV transition possible,” the UAW said. “We urge EPA to continue to work with all key stakeholders to ensure the new rules do not disproportionately impact domestic union auto production.”

The UAW in May said it was not yet endorsing Biden for re-election, citing his electric vehicle policies.