Jim Walsh lets us down again
4/24/2005 09:53:00 AM | Author: baloghblog

Rep. Walsh avoids the real energy problem of huge vehicles with poor mileage, and votes against an amendment that would have increased MPG standards to 33 mpg (over 10 years!) from the current 25 mpg standard.

An aside in the Post Standard states that automobile manufacturers and autoworkers unions were against this increase. I think that it has become time for autoworkers to reconsider their stance as well. Companies like Toyota and Honda are driving the future market of hybrid autos. When gas goes to $3.00+/gal and no one is buying SUV's except the very well off, then how happy will the newly laid off auto workers be, and their employers who will see their stocks plummet even further.

From Motley Fool:

GM continues to focus on producing large SUVs and pickups in spite of higher gas prices. The company plans to introduce an all-new lineup of full-size SUVs and pickups for 2006. GM has obviously benefited from the high margins provided by SUVs and pickups, but with high fuel prices seemingly here for the foreseeable future, the public is shifting toward more fuel-efficient vehicles. Which leads me to...

Where's the hybrid vehicle? How can the world's top automaker not have one true hybrid in its lineup? All GM offers is a hybrid version of its Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500 large trucks, which, by the way, are really the same truck. But that's it. Where's its one true hybrid vehicle? I realize the margins aren't as high as those of SUVs, but that's not the point in this case. It's about giving customers what they want and proving the technological capabilities of the company. I realize GM is working on fuel-cell technology, but that could be 10 or more years away. Meanwhile, Honda (NYSE: HMC - News) and Toyota (NYSE: TM - News) can't seem to keep hybrids on the lots.

Once again Rep. Walsh voted against raising fuel efficiency standards. Will he be voting for the Feb 2007 auto industry bailout?

Props to Rep Boehlert who stood up to his party and voted with his conscience. (He was the sponsor of the higher fuel efficiency amendment.)

Rep. Sherwood Boehlert, R-New Hartford, voted against the bill after delivering an emphatic speech against it on the House floor.

"The House of Representatives had the chance today to pass sensible energy legislation that would reduce our reliance on foreign oil by investing in alternative forms of energy and promoting conservation and energy efficiency," Boehlert said after the vote. "Unfortunately, we squandered the opportunity."

Now, I know that Rep. Walsh has "served our area well in the past." He seems a lock to remain in the congress with no foreseeable challenger in sight. But we still can let him know how we feel. If you so desire, here is his email address: rep.james.walsh@mail.house.gov

Higher fuel efficiency standards will help the US auto industry remain in step with the world. There isn't going to be cheap oil again. We need alternative fuels, conservation, increased investment in the public transportation system, and reduced reliance on foreign oil.

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