The Detroit News reports that President Bush’s energy plan announced in last night’s State of the Union address set an aggressive target for automakers but failed to provide any assistance, drawing the ire of Michigan lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.
U.S. Rep. Joe Knollenberg, R-Bloomfield Hills, called the plan “a debacle. We don’t need the hammer of job-killing (fuel efficiency) increases. This proposal would lead to more job cuts and plant closings in Michigan. It would discriminate against the Big Three and accelerate the push of Toyota and Honda to grab more market share.”
“I will make sure the auto industry is not going to be the only group that will make a contribution to the solution to global warming.” (Rep John Dingell, D-Dearborn)
In his excellent column Washington pushes Big Three to change, News columnist Daniel Howes quotes a senior White House official as saying “What we’re not doing is trying to impose new mandates that will cripple Detroit. If you want a death sentence for American auto companies, get them in a bind where they can’t sell their most popular cars.” Howes goes on to preview the coming battle between Dingell and Nancy Pelosi, who appears likely to stack the climate change debate in a way that is “more Kyoto and less Detroit.”