Investment advisor says state policy needed to keep US autos at cutting edge of innovation

(New York, NY) – In response to an imminent announcement by the Environmental Protection Agency that fuel-economy and emissions standards will be weakened, Scott Stringer, the comptroller of New York City, issued the following statement:

“If the EPA plans to weaken standards, that would be fundamentally the wrong move. Rolling back strong national fuel economy and emissions standards will undermine the global competitiveness of the U.S. auto industry. In the absence of federal leadership, states need to continue to lead on clean car standards. That’s because an auto industry that doubles down on producing gas-guzzling cars is like making a bet on beepers in a smart-phone age. Fuel efficient vehicles are good for our environment – and good for business.

“As shareholders in the biggest automotive companies – with nearly $200 million invested in Ford and General Motors alone – we can’t risk a slowdown in the pace of innovation that drives investment. Auto markets are increasingly global, and governments around the world are adopting standards that place a premium on clean, efficient, advanced vehicles.

“If the EPA makes a short-sighted and backwards federal decision, as laboratories of innovation, the clean car states will continue to provide the signal automakers need to stay competitive and profitable.”

Stringer is the investment advisor to — and custodian of — the $190 billion New York City Pension Funds. New York is one of thirteen states, plus the District of Columbia, that have adopted clean car standards that are in line with current national vehicle emissions and fuel economy standards. The attorneys general of 12 clean car states and the District of Columbia have pledged to sue the EPA if the rollback happens.

Ceres analysis found robust miles-per-gallon standards provide market certainty, spur innovation and make U.S. auto manufacturers and suppliers more competitive in a global market that demands increasingly clean and efficient cars and trucks.

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