WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) released the following statement today regarding the Obama Administration’s announcement of new, stronger fuel economy (CAFE) standards for American automakers. By 2025, automakers’ fleet of vehicles must average 54.5 miles per gallon.
“Building strong businesses and protecting the environment can go hand-in-hand. Fuel-efficient cars made in Ohio are now among the best selling in the nation and are gaining market share around the world,” Brown said. “As consumers demand more of these cars, promoting strong standards at home will make American-made cars competitive in the U.S. and around the world while reducing our dependence on foreign oil. Today’s announcement also provides automakers a measure of regulatory certainty to allow them to invest in new technologies and workers to meet these standards.”
Brown has been an outspoken advocate for Ohio’s auto industry and a strong supporter of increased CAFE standards to increase the competitiveness of American-made vehicles. In November of 2008, he introduced S. 3175, the Auto Industry Emergency Bridge Loan Act, with a bipartisan group of colleagues. In December 2008, Brown fought to ensure that funds from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) were allocated to aid the Big 3 and American auto suppliers—despite near-unanimous opposition from most House and Senate Republicans. At the start of 2009, Brown applauded President Obama’s decision to advance restructuring plans to ensure the viability of the American auto industry.
Last December, Brown announced the creation of 600 new jobs in northwest Ohio as a result of stronger CAFE standards. U.S. Steel and Kobe Steel are investing $400 million to fund a new continuous annealing line to produce high-strength, low-weight steel for auto parts at the PRO-TEC Coating Company. CAFE standards have driven automakers’ demand for high-strength, low-weight steel.
According to a 2010 study by the Center for Automotive Research, more than 792,000 Ohio jobs depend on the auto industry; this figure includes 120,285 direct employment (people employed directly by auto industry: 39,685 by automakers and 80,600 by parts suppliers); 276,330 indirect employment (jobs indirectly employed by automakers or parts suppliers: 167,891 by automakers and 108,439 by parts suppliers); and 395,981 spin-off employment (expenditure-induced employment resulting from spending by direct and intermediate employees; 221,018 by automakers and 174,963 by suppliers). A 2011 study by the Center for Automotive Research found that 164,654 jobs in 2009 would have been lost in Ohio if the auto industry had not been rescued.