Talks on New Fuel Standards Were Heated Between the White House and Auto Industry
March 12, 2012 10:05 PM
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e-mails turned over as part of house investigation
It comes as no surprise the discussions between the White House and auto industry were very explosive when it came to the new CAFE standards. The White House wants to reduce American dependence on foreign oil, reduce pollution, and save drivers at the pump. The automotive industry argued that the cost of increased economy would hurt sales and therefore cost jobs.
Automakers have now disclosed e-mails between themselves and the government to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Those e-mails show that the conversations went on for nearly 16 hours a day for most of the month of July. The e-mails were turned over because the committee is investigating whether White House officials worked around the traditional regulatory process by making deals directly with automakers.
Republican Darrell Issa
heads the committee, and he argues that the Obama Administration didn't consider the impact higher vehicle costs would have on consumers.
That is one of the key arguments most automakers made during conversations about the new standards, which push fuel economy all the way to 56.2 mpg between 2017 and 2025. Updating vehicles to meet the standards would cost the auto industry $157.3 million according to the Obama administration estimates. The Obama administration also estimates that consumers will save $1.7 trillion at the pump. Many in the automotive industry argued that the costs will be much higher than Washington predicts.
An e-mail from a GM employee to Mary Sipes, VP of GM North America overseeing product planning in the global portfolio, said, "I have never seen such power coupled with such incompetence. It is simply embarrassing from a taxpayer perspective. The gov't is playing we OEMs off each other. They are telling us lies (we know cause we OEMs talk amongst ourselves) to trick us into caving or giving up points of information."
An e-mail from Ford's Sue Cischke from May of 2009 said, "We need some additional concessions … so I will continue to push from our end. I am concerned that if they don't get this wrapped up this week they may decide it’s not worth it and go on to something else (something easy like healthcare)."
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Pot calling kettle black
3/14/2012 1:12:06 PM
Ha, someone from GM calling another imcompetent.
As a former dealership employee that had to deal directly with GM for 6.5 years, I would like to say I have never seen a more incompetent company as GM. One hand never knew what other was doing. Very Bad Mgt.
That being said, I do like GM, I just wish they had some competence and better vision for the future of the auto industry. Seems like they go about most things backwards. As a matter of fact production planning was one of GM's worst departments. I wonder if Mary had anything to do with the overproduction of Hybrid $50,000 tahoes? Someone had the bright idea that these were going to sell like hotcakes and went outside the normall allocation process and built these Hybrids like crazy. We sold 2 in a year. It is great technology, and the hybrids get the best MPG vs. any other SUV on the road, but who can afford them??? GM had to secretly wholesale lot's of them. By the way, this was before the bailout.
A GM employee to Mary Sipes, VP of GM North America overseeing product planning in the global portfolio, said, "I have never seen such power coupled with such incompetence. It is simply embarrassing from a taxpayer perspective
"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer
House Republicans Question Obama's Advisers Roles in 54.5 MPG Fuel Standard Development
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