Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Auto industry bailout follow up

If you read the Clarion Content's screed earlier this week about the auto industry bailout then you will know where we stand. If you didn't, in brief, we are opposed to any further money heading to Detroit's big three automakers, absent it being expressly tied to conversion of their existing product line to hybrid, flex fuel or natural gas vehicles. At the suggestion of one of our local Durhamanian readers, we proposed that the federal government could offer Detroit a subsidy project of converting all the vehicles owned by the federal government to run as hybrids, or on flex fuel and/or natural gas.

This would have the knock-on benefits of vastly reduced oil consumption by the American government, as well as setting up Detroit to head this same direction with consumer vehicles posthaste.

In a New York Times Op-Ed piece contributor Robert Goodman hearkens back to the brilliant Stuart Udall, Kennedy's Interior Secretary and a visionary ecological thinker. Udall, ahead of his time, pressed for the federal government to invest in high speed trains and other forms of public transit. The Clarion Content certainly considers this a far more worthy way to go with the federal bailout money than to hand it over to a backward thinking Detroit that has spent the last twenty years pushing SUVs and pick-up trucks on the American consumer, while fighting tooth and nail against raising gas mileage standards.

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