The United Auto Workers (UAW) union has urged the Biden administration to reconsider proposed vehicle emissions rules that would essentially require 67% of new cars to be electric by 2032.
The UAW represents workers at General Motors, Ford and Stellantis. Per the union, the Environmental Protection Agency’s standards should be adjusted to “better reflect the feasibility of compliance so that the projected adoption of (zero emission vehicles) is set to feasible levels, increases stringency more gradually, and occurs over a greater period of time.”
The comments were made ahead of the UAW’s upcoming contract negotiations with the Detroit Three automakers before the current four-year contracts expire in September, according to a Reuters report.
“EPA must recognize that the current domestic auto assembly footprint is heavily weighted towards the profitable light-duty truck and SUVs that are tasked with funding the EV transition," the UAW said. “We fear the proposed standards are premature and risk disrupting the market that will make the EV transition possible. We urge EPA to continue to work with all key stakeholders to ensure the new rules do not disproportionately impact domestic union auto production."
The union also dubbed the EPA proposal “neither reasonable nor achievable, descriptions similar to those used by Toyota, which called the EPA’s proposed emissions requirements “extreme and outside historical norms.” Tesla has adopted the opposite stance on the matter, telling the EPA its proposal does not go far enough.
This was not the first time the UAW criticized the EV transition. In June, UAW President Shawn Fain criticized the U.S. Energy Department’s plan to provide a $9.2 billion loan for a joint venture between Ford and South Korea’s SK On to establish three battery plants in the country. The UAW also said in May it had not yet endorsed President Joe Biden for reelection, citing concerns about his administration’s EV policies.