Detroit Needs Green Deal or No Deal

If we bail out the auto companies, let's do it on our terms
By Gabriel Winant,  Newser User
Posted Nov 12, 2008 9:01 AM CST
A Sept. 16, 2008 file photo shows GM Renaissance Center headquarters building in Detroit.   (AP Photo/Paul Sancya/file)
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(Newser) – If we’re going to bail out the auto industry, writes Joseph Romm in Salon, let’s do it right. Detroit’s Big Three have spent years fighting tooth and nail against the very innovations that could save them: higher fuel efficiency and hybrid-electric cars. Detroit has “been suicidally lobbying against its own inescapable future,” as well as against everyone’s shared interest in cars running on clean and renewable energy.

In the age of high gas prices, consumers want fuel-efficient cars—but Detroit has shown it needs to be prodded into making them. So for this bailout, Romm wants some strings attached. “The deal has to be based on meeting the new fuel economy standards of 35mpg by 2020, and meeting them increasingly with hybrids,” Romm writes. Otherwise, no deal.