John's Feed
Jan 25, 2012

Chevy Volt gets caught in Washington crossfire

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Chevy Volt became a political punching bag on Wednesday, with Republicans accusing the Obama administration of hiding fire risks from the public, and General Motors saying its signature electric vehicle unfairly got caught in political crosswinds.

Jim Jordan, chairman of the House Oversight regulatory subcommittee, said it was disturbing that U.S. safety regulators waited six months to open a formal investigation after their own crash tests uncovered fire risks.

Jan 25, 2012

US purposely delayed Volt fire disclosure-Republicans

WASHINGTON, Jan 25 (Reuters) – Republicans accused the
Obama administration on Wednesday of purposely delaying
disclosure of Chevy Volt battery fires to avoid criticism of its
General Motors Co (GM.N: Quote, Profile, Research) bailout and to protect its interests in
electric car development.

Jim Jordan, chairman of the House Oversight regulatory
subcommittee, said at a hearing that a six-month delay last year
was inexplicable and disturbing.

Jan 25, 2012

Obama aims to use war savings on infrastructure

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama proposed plowing half the money America will save from the end of its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan into high-speed rail lines and repairs to the nation’s creaking roads and infrastructure.

The plan likely will face an uphill battle in Congress where Republicans frequently point to high-speed rail projects as a waste of money at a time of tight budgets.

Jan 24, 2012

GM CEO says politics played role in Volt probe

WASHINGTON, Jan 24 (Reuters) – General Motors’ chief
executive plans to tell lawmakers that he believes politics
motivated a U.S. government investigation of battery fires in
Chevy Volts.

In testimony prepared for delivery at a House Oversight
Committee hearing on Wednesday, Dan Akerson said it appears the
Volt became, “perhaps unfairly”, a surrogate for election-year
politics and commentary on GM’s business and Obama
administration policy.

Jan 23, 2012

Senator Rand Paul refuses airport patdown after alarm

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican Senator Rand Paul was stopped at an airport on Monday for setting off an alarm and refusing a patdown, prompting his father, presidential candidate Ron Paul, to accuse security officials of being part of an “out of control” police state.

In a harshly worded attack on the Transportation Security Administration, which handles security screenings at U.S. airports, Ron Paul, known for his strident libertarian views, said the TSA “gropes and grabs our kids and our seniors and does nothing to keep us safe.”

Jan 21, 2012

Congress reaches breakthrough on aviation bill

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Congressional leaders reached a breakthrough compromise on Friday on the most difficult issue holding up action on long-stalled U.S. aviation legislation that would accelerate modernization of the aging air traffic system.

Leaders in the Senate and House of Representatives agreed to modify politically charged language on how airline unions conduct their elections, partly meeting Republican demands to reform U.S. oversight of representation balloting, congressional aides said.

Jan 21, 2012

Probe of Chevy Volt fires closed

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The government on Friday closed its investigation of Chevy Volt battery fires, concluding that there is no defect trend and that electric cars do not pose a greater risk of fire than gasoline-powered vehicles.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also said that it was satisfied with a plan by General Motors (GM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) to address problems that triggered fires in Volts after crash tests.

Jan 19, 2012

Panel backs U.S. finding on Toyota, recommends steps

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A scientific panel backed a U.S. government finding that electronic software played no role in sudden acceleration of Toyota vehicles, but the group questioned the ability of regulators to investigate similar, complex cases on their own in the future without improving their technical expertise.

The National Research Council’s Transportation Research Board report released on Wednesday effectively concluded the sweeping federal investigation into the recalls of 8 million Toyota and Lexus cars and trucks in 2009 and 2010.

Jan 19, 2012

Air controller error blamed in U.S. near-miss

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Safety investigators on Wednesday cited air traffic controller error for a near mid-air collision of a commuter jet and a small plane last year in Mississippi.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said the ExpressJet flight with 53 people aboard and a single-engine Cessna 172 came within 300 feet of each other over the Gulfport-Biloxi airport last June 19.

Jan 13, 2012

Analysis: Obama seeks lift from Detroit auto jobs

By John Crawley

(Reuters) – A year ago, the Obama administration suffered from a post-bailout hangover and kept a low profile at the annual Detroit auto show with a smaller U.S. industry just beginning to pull out of its worst-ever downturn.

But this year, the energized venue was a formal launching pad for what is arguably the chief economic accomplishment of President Barack Obama as he approaches the 2012 election – the resurgence of U.S. automakers made possible by government intervention.