Pelosi's CAFE Crusade Bites the Hands of UAW, Big Oil

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams
pelosi s cafe crusade bites the hands of uaw big oil

Right after taking control of the House of Representatives, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi formed a panel to look into global warming. Now she's locked in a battle with House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman John Dingell over proposed CAFE standards, seeking to preserve a rapid rise in the new requirements. Domestic automakers haven't hidden their opposition to Pelosi's plan. Cerberus' Stephen Feinberg claims her approach would raise Chrysler's vehicle prices by $7K apiece. GM Car Czar Maximum Bob Lutz estimates it would cost GM $8K per vehicle. They're all predicting that drastic increases in CAFE would cripple or kill the U.S. auto industry. The result: cutbacks, layoffs and bankruptcies throughout industry. Thousands of industrial workers would lose their jobs. People who belong to labor unions. Labor unions that contributed to Nancy Pelosi's election fund, to the tune of $63K in 2006. In fact, according to Freedom Works, Pelosi ranks ninth overall in contributions from Big Labor AND her largest single contributor was Occidental Petroleum, another industrial enterprise that relies on the auto industry for income. The Nance better watch that whole environmental zealousness shtick– she's biting the hand that feeds.

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  • Ralph SS Ralph SS on Jul 20, 2007

    Gosh, I wish I knew the answer on this one but I don't. I'm glad others do, though. That means we stand a chance of getting this situation righted. It could happen!

  • Shaker Shaker on Jul 21, 2007

    Another political football that will get tossed around until it deflates; such Draconian measures are designed to generate news (and to state a "strong" Democratic position) but reality will creep in (eventually) and more moderate CAFE standards will result.

  • DrBrian DrBrian on Jul 21, 2007

    Charlie the UK spec Rav4 diesel won't/is legal in America since it doesn't meet the emissions regs. also it only gets 42.8UK mpg or 35.6 US mpg. thirdly the UK spec diesel is far better than the stuff you can buy in America

  • Dean Dean on Jul 22, 2007

    Brendan and I are on the same wavelength on this issue. Scrap CAFE and raise gas taxes. Make the increase revenue neutral with personal tax reductions heavily weighted to lower income earners who will be hardest hit by higher gas prices. Further, reduce spending on highway infrastructure and invest in light rail transit in urban areas. Give people alternatives to their cars. Recognize that people will probably still want a car, and that expensive public transit is a huge disincentive to potential transit users. Make transit free, or at least cheap. (This is a personal pet peeve, as our local transit authority is increasing fares again. Given that I still need my car for weekends and ferrying dogs around, why would I pay $7.50 per day for round-trip bus fare to work when it costs me about $3 in gas, even at $1.20 per litre?) I don't see it happening any time soon, however. Higher CAFE standards will piss off 10 million voters, while higher gas prices will piss off 200 million.