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I just listened to an hour long show on FoxNews called Journal Review – Wall Street Journal bunch maybe – where they spent a good portion of the time insisting that Obama is hurting the car companies with the new fuel efficiency standard he is demanding. It isn’t the first of this I’ve heard on Fox and other broadcasters lately. The anchors and panel members (“experts”) are outraged that the tighter fuel efficiency standards being required of automakers are so terrible that it could cause the auto industry’s demise along with associated industries.

These news and opinion shows have described how these automakers would have to pay millions to re-tool their plants and all the other costs they would incur. And, this show and others explained that the current Congress and Democratic administration has brought this into the immediate situation. But they didn’t.

Both the last Congress and the Republican administration approved the $25 billion plus dollars in loans, subsidies and DOE grants for the automakers that were specific to the fuel efficiency standard increase and to pursue alternative energy vehicles.

Regardless of the opinions expressed on cable news outlets, the DOE made billions of dollars available to the automakers last fall to do the re-tooling necessary for the automakers to make improvements in fuel efficiency. We’ve already paid for them to do this and the automakers’ executives have all said they are completely for the program when they applied for the money in loans and subsidies to do it.

So, how could I have possibly listened to lies from the members of the “news” reporting on this?

– cricketdiane 01-31-09

This is an excerpt from a NYTimes article from last fall about the $25 billion for automakers to make fuel efficiency changes –

**

Much of the debate in Washington has centered on the best source of government money for an emergency loan program for Detroit.

One is a $25 billion low-interest loan program already passed by Congress that provides money specifically for improvements in fuel efficiency.

Ford has applied for $7 billion of those loans, which are administered by the Department of Energy. Mr. Ford expects that any aid from the Obama administration in the future will be tied to improvements in fuel economy.

“We just submitted our application to the D.O.E. and what’s interesting is in the next two years, 75 percent of our vehicles will qualify for their definition of advanced vehicle technology,” he said.

“It’s all about fuel economy and energy independence,” he said. “I passionately believe that Ford can and should be part of that solution.”

But William C. Ford Jr., the executive chairman and scion of the founding family of the Ford Motor Company, has been preparing for a bigger role in the industry’s plan for survival.

While General Motors and Chrysler plead to Congress for a bailout, Mr. Ford has reached out to President-elect Barack Obama in hopes that his company can benefit from the administration’s longer-term strategies for the auto industry.

Mr. Ford has been working behind the scenes, meeting one-on-one with Mr. Obama in August, conferring with his senior economic advisers, and teaming up with Gov. Jennifer Granholm of Michigan to push a vision of a leaner, greener auto industry.

With Detroit on the brink of disaster, the great-grandson of Henry Ford could play a critical role in how the Obama administration decides to assist the companies financially and shape broader energy policies.

While Ford’s chief executive, Alan R. Mulally, joined his counterparts from G.M. and Chrysler in testifying before Congress last week, Ford is not asking for an immediate bailout from Washington for now.

The company has enough cash on hand — $18.9 billion, as well as a $10.7 billion line of credit with private lenders — that will keep it running through 2009 without cutting development of its next generation of more fuel-efficient cars.

November 24, 2008
Ford Scion Looks Beyond Bailout to Green Agenda
By BILL VLASIC
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/24/business/24ford.html?src=tp&pagewanted=print

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