“Detroit is hostage to the administration’s green energy schemes—a perfect vehicle for granting favors and extorting tribute,” writes Holman Jenkins.
Jenkins writes in the Wall Street Journal:
…But the most egregious aspect of the Obama bailout is its annexation of the auto sector to the administration’s green energy schemes. It’s no exaggeration to say the auto industry is being used to fulfill a throwaway line in an Obama speech calling for one million electric vehicles on the road by 2015.
We’ve often noted the direct handouts, in the form of billions of dollars in subsidies to both manufacturers and buyers of green cars. But these are only half the story. Mr. Obama made a splash last year when he announced that, by 2025, the U.S. fleet would be required to get 54.5 miles per gallon.
The corollary of an implausible mandate is a steady traffic in auto industry lobbyists to Washington, campaign check in hand, to water it down. Of these, the most important are very large mileage credits awarded to electric cars (though they basically run on coal), and then the doubling of these credits as an “incentive multiplier.” In effect, auto makers have been virtually required to build electric cars and dump them on the public at a loss in order to create headroom for the cars that actually earn a profit…