Senator calls for 50-mpg mandate for Detroit to receive aid…

November 18, 2008

From Autoblog:

“Thick and fast.” That’s the phrase that describes the opinions, pleas, advice, denunciations, and WTF? going on around the U.S. auto industry right now. Enter Congress, which is trying to figure out how to give Detroit automakers the $25 billion they were promised a few months ago. Congressmen are sounding off almost daily on what kinds of stipulations they want to attach to the loan/bailout/whatever you want to call it – and that’s just the ones who would vote for it at all.

US congress

Next up is Senator Bill Nelson, a Florida democrat, who wants U.S. automakers to achieve a fleet average of 50 mpg by 2020. Right now, the CAFE target is 35 mpg by 2020 – a goal agreed upon only after a huge amount of jockeying in and out of Congress. Nelson asked, “Why should we be pouring taxpayer money into an automobile industry that has continued to resist higher miles per gallon, which has led us in part to the problems we’re in?”

While that might sound like a great idea to some, it would cost a terrific sum of money to achieve. The Detroit Three need the money they’re asking for just to get to Q2 of 2009, not to create a range of cars that would represent magnificent advances – based on where we are right now – in 11 years. There’s a good chance nothing will be decided until the president-elect takes office, and by then, who knows what other requests Congress will have.


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