Thursday, December 11, 2008

Blumenauer says auto industry bailout should replace entire federal fleet

Congressman Earl Blumenauer spoke last week at the Northwest Energy Coalition conference in Portland about a number of energy issues facing Congress in the coming months.

After speaking at length about what an Obama economic recovery plan should look like, he expressed his disgust for a proposed $34 billion auto industry bailout. He acknowledged that passage was likely, however, and proposed his own ideas for how it should go down. (The House approved a much smaller $14B package yesterday)

"We might just buy the flippin company [General Motors] and install a CEO who can run it and a board to oversee it," said Blumenauer.

The feds should then insure that the money is used to invest in next-generation, clean technologies by placing an order with the Big Three to replace the entire federal fleet with plug-in hybrid electrics and cars that run on compressed natural gas or 100-percent biofuels, he said.

"We get something in return for our bailout money and we get to our goal," for greener transportation options, said Blumenauer.

Blumenauer also had some ideas about how to allocate money to states for energy efficiency projects, which I wrote about today on the NYTimes Green Inc. blog.

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