Detroit CEO's Hit the Hill to Chill CAFE Regs
Now that Detroit (plus Toyota) has decided that some hike in the federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards is better than a BIG hike, Detroit's heavy hitters have hit the nation's capitol seeking support for their position. WSBT reports that Ford Boss Alan Mulally met with [union-supported] House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her cohorts. Big Al pronounced that Ford is "absolutely committed to providing our customers with vehicles they really want and value. That is why improving the fuel economy of our vehicles and securing energy independence is important and that is why we fully support increases in CAFE." The Associated Press reports that GM CEO Rick Wagoner schmoozed with officials at the White House National Economic Council, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency. Wagoner poo-poohed CAFE, asserting that the country would be better off developing alternative fuels and advanced batteries for plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles. “Our only hope is that the policies we pursue in the next 10, 20, 30 years, I hope that we end up with better results.” Meanwhile, some of the proposals “look like a stretch and look tough” and others “don’t look achievable.” Chrysler's Nardelli kept a low profile and ToMoCo was nowhere to be seen. But all three U.S. execs got a tongue lashing at a Democratic party luncheon. Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) declared that Motown had resisted past CAFE increases and was now running advertising saying a Senate proposal would “take your pickup truck away.” “I think the issue is over — I think you’ve lost that issue. I think your position is yesterday forever." Maybe, maybe not.