Much like the immigration bill that’s currently debated, it doesn’t seem like the energy bills–one just passed in the Senate and another being fielded in the House–really make anyone particularly happy. Some who are disappointed in the Senate bill’s failure to include mandates for renewable energy are looking to include provisions in the House bill that push wind and other alternatives. On the other side, the automobile industry–apparently surprised by the passage of tougher CAFE standards–is looking to push hard now on the House.
“Major changes are still needed to make this bill achievable,” Ford Motor Co. government affairs Vice President Bruce Andrews said…
On Wednesday, the House Energy and Commerce Committee chaired by industry ally Rep. John Dingell, a Michigan Democrat, will prepare its energy bill for consideration by the full House. It does not currently include a mileage proposal.
“This is a long process and we are continuing to work constructively to develop reasonable fuel economy standards that are affordable,” said Dave McCurdy, president of the industry’s chief trade group, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers.
Ron Gettelfinger, president of the United Auto Workers, which represents hourly employees at Ford, General Motors Corp., and DaimlerChrysler AG’s Chrysler Group, said the Senate bill threatened jobs.
Hmmm, what threatens jobs more, American automakers continuing to pump out uncompetitive products or fuel efficiency standards that a whole slew of new cars (mostly Japanese) are already achieving? And what about the deplorable state of health care in this country? Shouldn’t U.S. car makers and unions be working together to push for legislation that provides universal coverage for all Americans, thus removing the $1,500 that goes into each new car’s sticker price to cover employee benefits?
As groups like the Apollo Alliance promote, why not spend federal dollars on saving the dying U.S. auto industry in return for investment in making truly fuel-efficient vehicles? We bailed out the airline industry to the tune of $15b in the wake of 9/11, why not do the same for our automakers? Isn’t reducing our dependence on fossil fuels, investing in U.S. jobs, and reducing our greenhouse gas emissions as urgent a calling?
In the meantime, car companies have been coming out with a slew of ads promoting their new lines of fuel efficient cars… which get 28 mpg on the highway (they never give us the numbers for the city). What a joke.