Why Auto Emission Regulations Aren’t Economical For NC

In a time of economic uncertainty and stock market volatility, a report cited in the The News and Observer, stating that North Carolina is the 4th largest employer of clean and efficient auto parts in the country, might seem like a glimmer of hope for North Carolina’s future.  This ranking comes out shortly after President Obama declared that auto companies’ fleets must average 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.

Initially, those two statements might seem to go together mathematically, North Carolina’s large production of efficient auto parts+ higher efficiency standards = more North Carolina jobs, right? WRONG.

According to a letter from Senate Majority Leader Phil Berger to the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency:

“North Carolina is struggling in the current economy, and the transportation sector is not immune.  National census data show a net job loss of almost 4,00 jobs between 2009 and 2010 (2Q) in our transportation sector.”


“Increased fuel efficiency standards may further weaken the economy and lead to higher costs and greater job loss over that reported above.  The Center for Automotive Research issued a forecast last month that developing and producing cars to meet a fuel efficiency range between 47 and 62 mpg by 2025 will increase the cost of a vehicle between $3,744 and $9,790.  Under the most extreme scenario the maximum fuel efficiency increase could cut more than 260,000 jobs and reduce annual auto sales by 5.5 million vehicles.”

The advice Berger offers is simple.

“Adopt a single, national fuel economy standard that considers America’s needs for increased fuel economy while preserving the choice for families and businesses to meet their transportation needs without sacrificing affordability, safety, or jobs.”

Not only could this regulation have an adverse impact on jobs, but Roy Cordato points out the negative impact it could have on our well-being.


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