Energy Bill Finagling Semi-Outed: Federal Loan Guarantees for Detroit
The majority of this morning's New York Times article on the auto-oriented provisions of the new energy bill profiles the industry's posturing, infighting and kvetching over higher Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards. To wit, “'We’re not whiners,' Dominique Thormann, a senior vice president at Nissan North America, said in Washington during a lunch with reporters on Wednesday, in a thinly veiled jab at competitors that originally fought fuel economy increases." Breeze through this politically correct interpretation– transplants ready to rumble, domestics foot (not to say knuckle) draggers, Toyota playing both side down the middle– and Michelle Maynard finally reveals some of the more important "details." For example, we learn that the bill offers federal loan guarantees to "help auto companies that invest in factories that are at least 20 years old to build vehicles with advanced technology." Hey! Guess what? The General will [theoretically] build the new Chevrolet Volt plug-in electric hybrid at a Detroit factory that opened in the early '80s. No word on the new "footprint-based" CAFE calculations– which make a mockery of fleet-wide fuel economy averages– or ethanol credits– capable of transforming a gas-sucking SUV into a high mileage green machine (in regulatory terms).
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