The EPA has announced a six-year freeze in fuel efficiency standards with no exceptions for states to set their own standards. It is a rebuke for California, which along with at least a dozen other states, has higher fuel standards than the national requirements. Under Obama administration rules, fuel efficiency standards would have increased over time.
U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, says the new EPA standards are bad news for the GM workers in Lordstown.
With sales down, the Lordstown plant that makes the fuel-efficient Chevy Cruze is down to just one shift. By freezing the CAFE standards – the Corporate Average Fuel Economy requirement – companies could have less reason to build small cars like the Cruze.
United Auto Workers Regional Director Rich Rankin in Toledo says CAFE standards played a part in driving innovation and efficiency at companies like Fiat Chrysler America.
“I believe that that helps drive new industry and creates new jobs and forces these companies to look at these technologies which makes us all better in the state of Ohio,” Rankin said.
Brown says the Lordstown plant is facing enough difficulties.
“The same day that GM laid off workers at the historic plant in Lordstown, we got word the same day that GM plans to build its new Chevy Blazer in Mexico. The company is bypassing American workers. It’s sending more jobs to Mexico,” said Brown.
The Democrat is now proposing a bill that would provide a $3500 rebate for Americans who buy cars and trucks predominantly-made in America and raises taxes on American companies that move business out of the country.