Detroit, Mich. — President Obama has long promised $150 billion — $15 billion a year over 10 years — in industry subsidies to develop alternative fuels, including Detroit Three production of alternate-fuel vehicles to meet federal fuel mandates.
White House Deputy Budget Director Robert Nabors confirmed yesterday that that the subsidy is contingent on revenues from the president’s cap and trade tax. No cap and trade, no $150 billion.
The White House was not forthcoming with details, but the move points a gun at Detroit’s head: Support our cap and trade scheme or no green subsidIes for you.
The tactic is more evidence of the political machinations that carbon regulation introduces into the body politic. To receive the promised medicine, Detroit must first drink Washington’s poison.
Washington’s promise of green subsidies had come in part as a response to federal CAFE mpg mandates that manufacturers estimate will cost $85 billion by 2020. But in doing deals with the devil, the devil always has one more trick up his sleeve.
Cap and trade will “devastate jobs in manufacturing states like Michigan,” Rep. Mike Rogers (R., Mich.) has said. It is a bipartisan sentiment here as both of Michigan’s leftist senators, Levin and Stabenow, voted against Lieberman-Warner last year.
The nationalization of the U.S. auto industry is a two-way street: In return for Washington dollars, the industry will be expected to support Washington’s policies.