Tales from the Trail

First draft: Stimulus and tighter auto standards

January 26, 2009

After Republican leaders expressed doubts about the stimulus package over the weekend, President Barack Obama pushes forward this week with efforts to build public support for his $825 billion economic recovery plan.

The push comes as more bad news is expected on the economic front with many U.S. companies expected to report earnings this week.

Obama outlined his stimulus plan in his radio address on Saturday and he is due to talk about jobs, energy independence and climate change at the White House at 10:30 a.m. (1530 GMT).

The White House event should result in more Bush reversals. Administration officials said Obama will direct the Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider a request by California — which was denied under the Bush administration — to impose its own strict limits on automobile carbon dioxide emissions.

If the EPA reverses the previous ruling, more than 12 U.S. states could proceed with plans to impose strict CO2 limits. California wants to reduce emissions by 30 percent by 2016.

For fans of Illinois politics: The morning TV talk shows featured interviews with Gov. Rod Blagojevich who is skipping the start of his impeachment trial to take to the airwaves. After comparing himself on Sunday to human rights heros Nelson Mandela, Dr Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi, Blagojevich said he had done nothing wrong and the allegations against him were “completely untrue.”

Blagojevich also said he had considered Oprah Winfrey to fill Obama’s vacant Senate seat, though he didn’t think she would take it.

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Comments
10 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

There may be many different opinions on this stimulus package and the EPA but I think we can all agree that Blagojevich must go. Coming back to middle on this one TC. Blagojevich comparing himself to Mandela, MLK and Gandhi almost made me puke. There is no place for this kind of corruption from either party in my mind. The governor should step down and save the people of Illinois the time and money it will take to throw him out.

Posted by Eric H | Report as abusive
 

Real smart, allowing states to double regulate C02 when the economy/auto industry is imploding.

This report gives an interesting account of the consequences of such short sighted policy. http://www.nada.org/patchwork

Posted by Tom | Report as abusive
 

Hey Tom, you need to go to Blockbuster Video and check out a vid titled “Who Killed the Electric Car”.
Loud and clear – HOOOORAY for OBAMA!!! He has the guts to change things – just like he promised. TOO BAD that this is eight years TOO LATE!

Posted by eloise | Report as abusive
 

No, actually I don’t agree Blago should go. He deserves his day in court like everyone else. I am not saying he is a good guy, but just to say he should go seems a little premature. He may actually be innocent. That’s part of the problem with this nation, so many people are influenced by the news when all the facts have not been presented.

Again, I am not saying he is good. I am not saying he is innocent. I am not saying he is guilty. All I am saying is he is entitled to due process.

If a court finds him guilty, then he should go to prison.

Also, one of the few things I totally agree with Obama on is his investment in alternative energy, specifically wind and solar power. We will always have a need for oil regardless of where it comes from, but we can do so much better and investing in wind and solar are excellent starts toward becoming energy independent.

Regarding climate change. Well, I am here to say the climate has changed every single day I have been alive and will continue to change long after I die. Anyone notice how all of a sudden the fight went from global warming to climate change? That’s because the earth is cooling. I laugh when I hear that crowd say the current cooling is proof of global warming. BTW, I think nearly 80 percent (could be a little off) of the people don’t believe global warming/climate change is man made. It is a total progressive liberal scam. Remember, the overwhelming majority believes climate change is a natural phenomenon not caused by humans.

Posted by TC | Report as abusive
 

I’m curious, where does President Obama think that the money and resources for producing these fantastic fleets of 35 MPG vehicles will come from? How will companies already on the skids pay researchers, engineers, etc to pull that off. And even if the automakers succeed in producing the cars, who will buy them? He cannot legislate people into wanting boring and/or expensive cars – especially with economy in the tank. Moreover, if he will let states makes things more stringent, will he let them make regulations looser? Seems only fair to me if you truly want the states to decide what is best for them.

I work with hybrid technologies everyday and can’t wait to see improvements in everything that burns fossil fuels. Resolving these issues can’t be about disjointed agendas against those that are easy to pick on or to appease though. What other industries does he plan to target with such ridiculous legislation, because, last time I checked automobiles were but one fish in the big CO2 pond. People may have wanted change, but irrational, uneducated change doesn’t help any of us. I have great hopes for Pres. Obama. Unfortunately, so far, all I see in his “new” Washington is the old Washington. Where are the fresh ideas and faces? Why are we still getting reactionary, partisan politics born of ignorance and without a comprehensive vision of what truly helps the vast majority of us get on with things?

Posted by LS | Report as abusive
 

Manufacturing, science and technology helped build this nation. The services industry cannot carry all the weight. I don\’t care how we get there but I would really like to see companies in some states making better and better batteries. Other states making electric cars. And still other states making parts, etc.
In other words, our government should take a substantial amount of the stimulus funds and get bids from current current manufacturers on this front and get it going now.
They should require that all manufacturing involving the vehicles be done in the U.S. They can promote sales through tax credits and subsidize pricing initially to ensure that it would compete with any foreign entry.

The main thing is \”stop fooling around with our economy and MAKE SOMETHING OF VALUE AT A GOOD PRICE\”!

Posted by Craig L | Report as abusive
 

It guess I thought we all had a pretty good idea that Blago was guilty. Of course he deserves due process like anybody else but the evidence seems overwhelming. Given the amount of corruption taking place these days, these cases need to be prosecuted quickly, openly and harshly enough to create a deterrent. With no pardons or commuting of sentences.

I have to second Eloise’s suggestion, but extent it to everybody, that “Who Killed the Electric Car?” should be found and watched. You don’t even have to leave the house, it’s widely available online. It’s a real wake up call to how much the auto industry and government have dragged their heels on this issue. Not only dragged their heels but suppressed technology that would speed the conversion away from gasoline powered cars. Say what you want about climate change, there are more reasons to end our dependence on imported oil. Even good old boy T. Boone Pickens has said we do not have the oil resources to replace what what we import with domestic production. Something has to fill the gap.

Posted by Eric H | Report as abusive
 

How is Obama going to pay for his 850 billion plan?

Global warming is now climate change because the left knew the global cooling is happening more then warming. Here in Ohio we have had record cold days. 650 scientists have stood up to state global warming is not true. It is not a man made act that is causing it. These same people years ago stated global cooling was here to stay!

So am I the only one who remembers the left yelling and screaming global cooling was the next ice age?

Posted by j | Report as abusive
 

Again, The government is trying to dictate on the supply side of manufacturing what to build (Obama considers CAFE changes) instead of providing tax incentives, education, or both to the demand side (consumers). After spending untold billions to reach this next milestone the same government will sit back and critisize domestic automakers about where they spend their money.. If you need more detail then this then your simply a reader and not a thinker. dah!
Current regulation costs billions and does nothing to address this issue but hamstringing the home team…

PS Toyota shut down their new truck plant before it even got out of the starting block, picked up their stuff, shut the door and went home with all the taxpayer incentive money spent.

Posted by jim E | Report as abusive
 

last week i saw a documentary on the bmw car plants in germany,not a manual worker in site,the process seamed to be all carried out by robots.this week in a similar program, gm production lines were shown, it was totally different, workers walking all over the place.how does productivity compare?is there a union factor involved?

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive
 

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