The Manufacturers of Emission Controls Association recently released updated information on the economic benefits of the mobile source emissions control industry in the United States. For 2010, MECA estimates that the total economic activity associated with emissions control technology on new cars and trucks in the U.S. is about $12 billion.
In addition, MECA member companies currently account for about 65,000 green jobs in the United States. MECA says these economic benefits are due in large part to the development and enforcement of important air pollution control regulations over the years by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as required by the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1970.
According to data collected by MECA, since the introduction of catalytic converters on light-duty vehicles in the United States in 1975 as a result of emissions requirements under the 1970 CAAA, more than 500 million light-duty vehicles have been sold in the United States equipped with exhaust and evaporative emissions control technologies. A conservative estimate for the cumulative economic activity associated with emissions controls on light-duty vehicles over this time period is $250-300 billion. In 2010 alone, sales of U.S. light-duty vehicles (meeting strict EPA Tier 2 emissions standards) totaled 11.6 million units, which generated emissions control economic activity of nearly $10 billion. Globally, light-duty vehicle sales totaled 72 million units in 2010; this translates into emissions control economic activity of $36-43 billion.
For heavy-duty diesel vehicles, since 2007, about two million heavy-duty and medium-duty trucks have been sold in the United States equipped with diesel particulate filters for control of particulate matter to fulfill emissions requirements under EPA’s heavy-duty highway rulemaking. This translates into cumulative emissions control economic activity of $4-6 billion dollars in the United States over the 2007-2010 timeframe. Adding in the fact that the majority of trucks sold in 2010 also were equipped with selective catalytic reduction systems for control of nitrogen oxides, medium- and heavy-duty truck sales in 2010 provided about $2 billion in economic activity related to emissions control technologies.
MECA says studies have shown that the public health benefits associated with reducing air pollution are higher than the costs of implementation. EPA’s recently released report on the benefits and costs of the Clean Air Act indicates that about $2 trillion in benefits will be achieved in 2020 – more than $30 in benefits for every dollar spent.
“The Clean Air Act and EPA policies have not only provided important health benefits stemming from large reductions in exhaust and evaporative emissions from mobile sources, but have also created an industry with significant numbers of highly skilled jobs and a global economic reach,” says Joseph Kubsh, MECA executive director. “We expect this emissions control economic activity to grow even more in the future as the industry continues to ramp up its efforts to meet the requirements of new and more stringent air quality standards, both in the U.S. and abroad.”