UAW is Fighting Back Against Strict Electric Vehicle Emissions Plan

The UAW has an issue with the EPA vehicle emissions plan, and the impact to union workers is not making them happy. The Biden Administration is being pulled in two directions over the EPA’s proposed vehicle emission targets. Earlier this year, the agency revealed a plan to cut emissions by 56% which would result in electric vehicles accounting for an estimated 67% of new car sales by 2032. 

The Alliance for Automotive Innovation, a lobbying group that represents the auto industry, called the proposal, “neither reasonable or achievable.” And the UAW is also calling on the Biden Administration to soften the rules because current production is weighted towards pickups and SUVs and is worried the targets could hurt domestic production. Last year, nearly 60% of vehicles produced by union members were trucks and SUVs.

It’s not just the UAW, Stellantis and Toyota Motor blasted a Biden administration plan to squelch auto pollution, saying it would compel aggressive and unrealistic sales of electric vehicles (EV) that strain critical mineral supplies. In comments filed with the federal government, the automakers warned that proposed emission curbs for cars and light trucks are overly optimistic and discriminate against plug-in hybrid vehicles.

After the auto industry and the UAW were 100% all in on the EV transition, now they don’t like the change.

Back to the United Auto Workers union, on Friday they called on the Biden administration to soften its proposed vehicle emissions cuts that would require 67% of new vehicles to be electric by 2032.

The UAW, which represents workers at General Motors, Ford Motor 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 free market will decide what sell and what doesn’t, your dollars should be the deciding factor, not government regulations.

The comments come before the UAW is set to open contract talks with the Detroit Three automakers before current four-year contracts expire in September. This could put a wrench in car production if there is no agreements.

The UAW said the “EPA must recognize 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 unionized 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.”

A group representing major automakers including the Detroit Three called for significantly softening requirements, calling the EPA proposal “neither reasonable nor achievable.” Toyota Motors on Friday called the EPA proposal stringency requirements “extreme and outside historical norms.”

Last month, UAW President Shawn Fain harshly criticized the U.S. Energy Department plan to lend $9.2 billion to a joint venture of Ford and South Korea’s SK On to build three U.S.battery plants.

Fain called the loan a massive “giveaway” with “no consideration for wages, working conditions, union rights or retirement security” that would help create low-paying jobs, adding, “Why is Joe Biden’s administration facilitating this corporate greed with taxpayer money?” 

The UAW in May said it was not yet endorsing Biden for reelection, citing his electric vehicle policies. Auto jobs are a critical part of the US economy. This story is far from over.

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