by Dan Conti, Kentucky Public Radio
A new report says environmental controls on vehicles could help Kentucky’s economy. The study, conducted by the United Autoworkers Union, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the National Wildlife Federation, found that stronger fuel economy standards for cars and light trucks will help create thousands of clean energy jobs in Kentucky and around the country.
Peter Lehner is Executive Director of the NRDC. He says the introduction of new technologies to help automakers achieve a standard of more than 54 miles per gallon by 2025 will grow jobs in places you’d expect—as well as in places you would’t. He says more than 155,000 people are already working in those areas.
Michigan and Ohio are the top employers, but thousands are also employed in North Carolina, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Georgia, Arizona, Texas and Alabama, as well as other states. This is an economic boon that is affecting the entire country.
In fact, Lehner says Kentucky is fifth in the U.S. for autoworkers employed in clean, efficient technologies. The report says just under 10,000 people in the commonwealth are at work on vehicle assembly, electric motors, batteries, wiring and power steering systems. The existing plants are in Georgetown, Harrodsburg, Edmonton and Morgantown.