How will Obama bribe auto industry into accepting new fuel economy standards? 

Last week, I wrote about the new fuel economy standards the Obama administration is preparing to propose that would effectively mandate what type of cars Americans have to drive.

The New York Times reports that the auto industry is busy pushing for handouts from the federal government in exchange for accepting new fuel standards:

The automakers say the standard is technically achievable. But they warn that it will cost billions of dollars to develop the vehicles, and they express doubt that consumers will accept the smaller, lighter — and in some cases, more expensive — cars that result....

The auto companies are asking the government to phase in the standard gradually, to allow credits for using certain technologies and fuels and to include a review period that could lower the target if it proves too costly, industry and government officials said. They are also seeking assurances that the government will help build the charging stations needed for electric and plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles, which will help to meet the new standard.

It's pretty clear where this is going. The Obama administration wants to raise fuel economy standards to satisfy the environmental lobby heading into an election year so he's imposing new regulations, but to get the automakers to swallow the changes, he'll have to offer them various subsidies. In the end, consumers will be punished with less choice and lighter/more dangerous cars, while taxpayers will help to pay the bills.

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Philip Klein

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