Michigan is the home of the global auto industry, and we have to make sure it stays that way. That is why I have been at the forefront of efforts to create jobs and ensure that the auto industry stays at the forefront of innovation and technology.
In order for our auto industry to continue to grow, we need to give our companies and our workers regulatory certainty and provide strong incentives for growth. That is why I have been leading the charge in Congress to ensure we have one national program for fuel economy standards that increase year over year and balances the twin goals of environmental protection and affordability. We need strong standards that keeps California at the table, not legal battles that will take years to resolve.
We also need to be looking towards the future and ensure that autonomous vehicles are researched and developed here in the United States. Self-driving cars are the future of the auto industry and they represent an opportunity and diversify our economy here in Michigan, while also improving safety. That is why I helped found the American Center for Mobility at Willow Run, a premiere center for the safe testing, demonstration and deployment of automated vehicle technology and helped secure a $7.5 million grant for AV testing in Michigan. I’ve also helped build a coalition in Congress to pass new rules for self-driving cars so that these technologies can be built right here at home, and so that we give regulators the tools they need to ensure these new technologies are safe.
We are also need to ensure that we are supporting efforts that accelerates US development, production, manufacturing and distribution of electric vehicles and charging infrastructure. That is why I have introduced the USA Electrify Forward Act, which accelerates domestic manufacturing of batteries, power electronics, and other technologies in plug-in vehicles to make electric cars more efficient and match consumer expectations; makes low- or no-interest loans available to manufacturers to re-tool and adapt existing facilities to build electric vehicles and create good-paying jobs; and updates residential building codes to encourage electric vehicle charging facilities into new multi-family buildings so consumers can get a charge at home.
Finally, while we are waiting for self-driving cars to come we need to come together about solutions for stopping drunk driving. We’ve had too many tragedies in our communities and I’m committed to bringing people together to stop drunk driving once and for all. That’s why I’ve introduced legislation to get advanced alcohol-detection technologies on the road as soon as we can because it’s the least we can do to honor those we’ve lost, including our friends and neighbors the Abbas family.