Saturday, July 18, 2009

Will feds use new power to dictate what you drive?

Senator's take on gasoline mandates: 'We own auto companies, why not?'
By Drew Zahn
© 2009 WorldNetDaily Posted: July 18, 2009 7:35 pm Eastern DES MOINES, Iowa – Now that the federal government has gained control over the nation's auto industry, one U.S. senator contends, it's time to make some changes in the kinds of cars Americans drive and the kinds of fuel they use. According to a Des Moines Register report, Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, wants Congress to use "climate change" legislation to mandate that auto manufacturers fit all new cars to run on a blend of 85 percent ethanol. "We own the automobile companies," Harkin said earlier this week. "Why not? I think that will be an easy one." Harkin, the Register reports, also wants to see the climate bill increase installation of E85 fuel pumps around the country and compel the Environmental Protection Agency to up the current limit on ethanol content in gasoline blends from 10 percent to 15 percent. Harkin's plans would pave the way for increasing demand of corn-based ethanol fuel blends and likely be of political benefit to the senator, who not only chairs the Senate Agriculture Committee, but also hails from the state that leads the nation in ethanol production. U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu agreed, stating in a speech last month that all new vehicles should be equipped to run on E85, though Chu spokesman Tom Reynolds later told the Register the Obama administration is not planning to impose mandates on the car companies. "The administration has been clear that the government won't be making day-to-day business decisions for GM and Chrysler," Reynolds said. "Those decisions will be left to the company's executives." Currently, America's three largest car companies make some E85-compatible cars, but have resisted any requirements that all cars be fitted for the fuel. [CONTINUE READING]
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