Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) offers a new angle today on the Detroit bailout, saying that he’ll support the plan only if the automakers stop trying to kill states’ efforts to tighten emission standards.
California has famously applied for an Environmental Protection Agency waiver forcing emission reductions of 30 percent by 2016. But the automakers claim the change would threaten the industry by forcing it to produce two sets of vehicles: one catering to the national standard and another to the stricter standards of California.
Defending the carmakers, the EPA rejected California’s waiver last December.
The EPA denial has only fueled the debate, and more than a dozen other states have signed on to the California proposal. Florida is the latest to move in that direction, after a state panel endorsed the plan just this week. Daniel Becker, who heads the Safe Climate Campaign, said the participating states represent enough of the new car market that the automakers would be forced to make just one set of vehicles complying to California’s stricter standard.
In a Dec. 4 letter to the heads of the Big Three, Florida’s Nelson urges the begging CEOs to quit stonewalling the state waivers:
As I review your proposals for federal financial assistance, I ask you to agree not to oppose Florida’s move to mandate cleaner and more fuel-efficient cars and trucks. Any effort to lobby against or otherwise derail this bipartisan initiative, led by Governor Charlie Crist, would be adverse to America’s long-term energy independence.
The Big Three executives testified before the House Financial Services Committee, headed by Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.). Though Frank supports a Detroit bailout, he echoed Nelson’s concerns today, warning the CEOs today that their opposition to the new emission standards isn’t helping their cause. From The New York Times:
“You’re now suing a lot of states that are represented here,” Mr. Frank said. “That’s a serious obstacle.”
Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) was even more forceful, as quoted by The Detroit Free Press:
Sixteen states have adopted or planned to adopt laws to lower greenhouse gas emission standards. My basic question to you is why in the world should my constituents or taxpayers in New York state or any state provide $38 billion in loans to your companies if you will continue to attempt to undo laws that we have adopted in our states?
Wouldn’t that be equivalent to giving you money to sue us?
The CEOs, of course, denied that would be the case. But these guys can compartmentalize money any way they please. Remember when bailed-out Wall Street banks justified the continued payment of shareholder dividends because they said those checks would come from a pot of money separate from the bailout cash?
Right. It’s happening again.
$1.3 Million for Brown
The GOP’s candidate in the Massachusetts special election raised more than one million dollars -- double the goal -- in a 24-hour moneybomb on the Ron Paul
$1.89 billion given to states to fight HIV
The federal government Monday announced more than $1.89 billion in funding to states to fight the HIV epidemic with access to care and with more cash for the failing AIDS Drug Assistance Program. According to an HHS press release , $813 million of that money will go directly to the ADAP programming. An additional $8,386,340 will be issued as a supplement to 36 states and territories currently facing a litany of unmet needs and access issues.
1. Brian Schweitzer
As governor of Montana, Schweitzer doesn’t represent one of the most highly populated, high-profile electoral states in the country. But this
#1 in Conspiracy Theories
Andrew Young’s tell-all biography of John Edwards, hitting shelves next week, is surging in one Amazon.com category in particular. #1 in Conspiracy
$1.3 trillion in federal spending unaccounted for, report finds
Despite calls for independent bodies to keep government accountable, the Sunlight Foundation’s most recent Clearspending report has found the federal
1 Brigade and 1 Battalion
ISTANBUL – It’s 10 p.m. in the lowest level of the Istanbul airport. In 20 minutes I’ll be allowed to board my plane to Kabul, bringing me to the
Ten Loopholes That Can’t Make It Into FinReg
Dan Pfeiffer, the White House communications director, wrote a blog post that lists the loopholes lobbyists most want inserted into Sen. Chris Dodd’s (D-Conn.)
$1 Million for Toomey
Pat Toomey, the former Club for Growth president and leading Republican candidate in Pennsylvania’s 2010 Senate race, has announced a $1 million haul in the
1. Lindsey Graham
Sen. Graham (R-S.C.) is typically regarded as a reliable vote for his party, but he took the bold step of breaking with his fellow Republicans to join Kerry
Bachmann uncomfortable over earmarks ban
Republicans appear to have boxed themselves into a corner with their portrayal of earmarks as wasteful spending, as many of them have backed a moratorium on
Troubled mine holds hope for U.S. rare earth industry
China currently controls 97 percent of the world’s rare earth production. The Mountain Pass Mine could change that -- if it can overcome serious environmental concerns.