Autoworkers Union Gives Full-Throated Support To Biden EPA Rule That Could Kill Thousands Of Jobs

President Joe Biden walks along the UAW picket line and engages with union members at the GM Willow Run Distribution Center, Tuesday, September 26, 2023, in Belleville, Michigan. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)

The United Auto Workers (UAW) came out in support of a change to a Biden administration auto emissions regulation that would force an electric vehicle (EV) transition and potentially end the need for thousands of autoworker jobs.

The rule from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) delays some of the emission standards that were set to take place in 2027 through 2029, but instead toughens standards between 2030 and 2032 to reach the same goal in the same time frame. In its statement, the UAW espoused its support for a “cleaner domestic auto industry” and a “just” transition to EVs, but also called on the Biden administration to not use the rule as an excuse to cut American jobs.

“The EPA has made significant progress on its final greenhouse gas emissions rule for light-duty vehicles,” the UAW said in response to the rule change. “By taking seriously the concerns of workers and communities, the EPA has created a more feasible emissions rule that protects workers building [internal combustion engine] vehicles, while providing a path forward for automakers to implement the full range of automotive technologies to reduce emissions.”

The EPA estimates that between 23,200 and 29,900 jobs working on vehicles using the internal combustion engine will be lost due to the change, but also estimates that around 75,100 and 213,900 will be created in EV production, even though EVs require less labor to produce, according to an impact analysis of the rules.


The UAW previously called for a softening of the regulations in July 2023, arguing that they would not facilitate a smooth transition due to a lack of market adoption, according to Reuters. Shawn Fain, UAW president, also criticized President Joe Biden in August of last year for his support of the EV transition, noting the jobs created do not provide the same benefits as traditional auto jobs.

“We need to see movement by the administration to protect these jobs,” the UAW said in its statement. “The nascent EV industry needs tariff protections — otherwise we are going to be awash in imports. The stakes of the transition are high for American workers. We will continue to work with the administration and fight to get these policies right for American autoworkers. ”

The UAW did not immediately respond to a request to comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Will Kessler on March 20, 2024

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