Hybrids Political Hot Potato

Dec. 17, 2006: Detroit Free Press—Automakers Fight for Favor in New Congress

Summary: "When Congress reconvenes in January, Detroit automakers will have a lot of friends in high places—and that has foreign automakers a little wary.

With the return to power of Michigan’s congressional Democrats—who will head three key committees and have significant say over the agenda on Capitol Hill—lawmakers are expected to revive several proposals aimed at helping the domestic industry.

In the last Congress, that list included tax credits for revamping old factories and pushing government agencies to buy more flex-fuel vehicles.

But foreign automakers say lawmakers should not tailor such plans to benefit Detroit at their expense, as some past proposals would have done. A debate between Japanese and U.S. automakers over expanding consumer incentives for hybrid vehicles may show just how much political support foreign companies have from the growing number of states where they build vehicles."

Michigan vs. Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee? That’s what the squabble might boil down to. Even if the practice of earmarking bills fades away, the power of lawmakers to send pork back to their constituents won’t fade by much.

The new-style pork will come wrapped in laws that affect the entire country for the benefit of one district—like limiting tax credits for consumers of popular hybrids—instead of being hidden as line-item requests.

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  • J Grabber

    Detroit automakers, their powerful friends, American government and American greed will continue to push planet health to the point of no return. Again, what good will your fat gutted wealth do on a planet that poisons, bakes and starves you?
    Thank GOD for Toyota!!!

  • RB

    Toyota is the smartest automaker in the world. Just don’t watch too closely. While we subsidize their Priuses and fill their wallets, they are ramping up production of full-sized pickups and SUV’s with worse mileage than the domestics! They are even calling their new truck a 2007 so they can use the old EPA ratings the first year to make it look like they get better fuel economy than they do.
    Keep hating the local employers, and soon we won’t have any (assembly plants are only the tip of the iceberg).

  • J Grabber

    Please give us all a company or government leader who will stand up and make a change to issues facing the world currently. Will we continue to be blind to technologies currently available that can make a global difference to our current and future energy and transportation needs? There are those who will continue to block advanement for reasons which are usually self wealth orientated which leaves the problem solving to rest on us all who are consumers, tax payers, voters, parents.

  • sara

    kool cars 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8)