John's Feed
Jan 9, 2012

Obama defends auto tax break despite skepticism

By John Crawley and Ben Klayman

(Reuters) – The Obama administration on Monday defended a tax break under scrutiny that is aimed at boosting consumer interest in electric vehicles, which fell short of modest U.S. sales expectations last year.

“The program has worked,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood told reporters at the Detroit auto show. “It’s real money and people have utilized it.”

Jan 7, 2012

U.S. weighs retaliation over Europe aviation law

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration is laying the groundwork for possible retaliation in response to a European law requiring airlines to pay for carbon emissions.

Discussions between key agencies have ramped up recently, although there is no consensus yet on what, if anything, the U.S. government should do unilaterally or in concert with other nations also upset with the law.

Jan 7, 2012

Auto steelmaker will not get DOE loan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration on Friday opted against closing a loan of up to $730 million for steelmaker Severstal North America, whose financing bid to expand a plant for auto steel production drew the attention of congressional investigators looking at Energy Department loan programs.

Congress has drawn no conclusion about the merits of Severstal’s application, but the Energy Department said that after careful review it had decided that financing for the wholly owned subsidiary of Russia’s OAO Severstal (CHMF.MM: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) would not go forward.

Jan 6, 2012

Analysis: U.S. weighs retaliation over Europe aviation law

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration is laying the groundwork for possible retaliation in response to a European law requiring airlines to pay for carbon emissions.

Discussions between key agencies have ramped up recently, although there is no consensus yet on what, if anything, the U.S. government should do unilaterally or in concert with other nations also upset with the law.

Dec 21, 2011

U.S. rule aims to boost rest for airline pilots

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Passenger airline pilots would work fewer hours and get longer breaks between shifts under revised U.S. aviation regulations spurred by a crash that killed 50 people nearly three years ago.

The Federal Aviation Administration rule announced on Wednesday aims to keep flight crews as alert as possible and reduce mistakes, but was delayed for years by airline opposition over cost and scheduling concerns.

Dec 21, 2011

US to release pilot fatigue rule after long delay

By John Crawley

(Reuters) – Nearly three years after investigators first heard what they believed were yawns by the crew of a commuter plane that fell from a winter night’s sky near Buffalo, the Obama administration is ready to issue a new regulation aimed at ensuring more rest for airline pilots.

The Federal Aviation Administration policy will be unveiled on Wednesday following extended delays and missed deadlines due to industry opposition over costs and scheduling.

Dec 16, 2011

US court sides with unions in airline dispute

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. appeals court on Friday upheld a hotly contested change in federal labor law that can make it easier for unions to organize, potentially clearing the way for Congress to approve long-delayed aviation legislation.

Rejecting a challenge to the new policy by the biggest airlines, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit affirmed a lower court decision, by a 2-1 margin.

Dec 13, 2011

Safety board proposes ban on cell use while driving

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. safety investigators called on Tuesday for a nationwide ban on texting and cell phone use while driving, a prohibition that would include certain applications of hands-free technology becoming more common in new cars.

The National Transportation Safety Board recommendation covers portable devices only but still goes beyond measures proposed or imposed to date by regulators and states, most of which already ban texting while behind the wheel.

Dec 8, 2011

US says regulators did not suppress Volt fire

WASHINGTON , Dec 8 (Reuters) – U.S. safety
regulators acted responsibly in assessing a Chevy Volt battery
fire following crash testing this year and did not suppress
public disclosure, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood
said on Thursday.

LaHood characterized as “nonsense” criticism the National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration was not transparent about
the problem that surfaced in June but was not made public until
the agency opened an investigation in November.

Dec 8, 2011

U.S. investigators look at welds on Chevy Volt: memo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. auto safety regulators are examining welding as part of their investigation into battery fires in Chevy Volts that could lead to a recall for the plug-in car.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wants to know whether there are any visible weld changes at key points on the underside of the vehicle made by General Motors near the battery pack, according to an investigative memo that was publicly disclosed.