The EPA is proposing changes to the federal emission standards to ensure 67% of new light-duty vehicles and 25% of new heavy-duty trucks sold in the United States be electric by 2032. (Valeriia/Adobe Stock)

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By Farah Siddiqi 

September 28, 2023   

Amid the United Auto Workers strike, some advocates argued it is time to implement clean car standards.

Gary Schlack, a city council member in Allen Park, army veteran, supports the UAW workers in their quest for contracts aligning with their skills, dedication, and loyalty. He said the state’s automakers are committed to increasing the production of zero-emission vehicles in the next decade, and intend to leverage the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to do so.

“It’s time for Ford, GM, and Chrysler’s parent company Stellantis to come to the table,” Schlack asserted. “EV vehicles and with these EPA standards put in place these workers are concerned that these jobs if they go nonunion competitive wages will fall.”

The energy department predicts EV battery manufacturing will support 10 to 13 million fully electric vehicles annually by 2030. Michigan, Georgia, Kentucky, Kansas, North Carolina, Ohio, and Tennessee are key players in the growth, fueling job opportunities across the sector.

Alex Cornell du Houx, president and co-founder of Elected Officials to Protect America, stressed addressing pollution in the transportation sector is crucial to enhancing national security, and mitigating the climate crisis.

“We need to export our oil and import actually dirty oil for use in the United States,” du Houx pointed out. “We are still dependent on OPEC, which is a(n) association of dictators. They’re not democratic nations. So it puts us at a vulnerability.”

Transportation generates more greenhouse gasses than any other sector of the U.S. economy, making up 27% of total emissions and 45% of all U.S. oil consumption.