President Barack Obama’s new fuel-economy standards may bring 23,000 jobs to Ohio in the next 10 years, according to Ceres, a nonprofit group that researches sustainability issues. “The jobs numbers are not only jobs in the auto industry,” Carol Lee Rawn, director of transportation programs at Ceres, told the Dayton Daily News
“The majority of them will actually result from consumers saving money on these standards,” she said. “Because consumers will realize so much in fuel savings, it goes into the broader economy and benefits a variety of sectors.’’
The government’s new Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency standards, also known as CAFE, require automakers to raise vehicles’ average fuel economy to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025 and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The national standard is currently 27.5 miles per gallon.
Nationwide, advocates say the push will slash fuel costs while spurring auto plant and supplier hiring. However, critics complain doubling the current CAFE rules will drive car prices up and make cars too expensive for the average buyer.
The demand for more fuel-efficient cars is already bringing jobs back to Ohio. For example, General Motors’ Lordstown plant in 2010 re-hired all the workers it had laid off in the previous two years, and brought in workers from closed GM plants to build the Chevrolet Cruze. Now, the plant is working at full capacity and employs 4,500 workers.
Alan Baum, of Baum and Associates, which offers automotive sales and production forecasts noted automakers are experimenting with less-expensive technology that will let them build fuel-efficient cars customers can afford.
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