Planet Gore

UAW Isn’t Drinking the Green Kool-Aid

Barack Obama and auto-state Democrats like Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan say there’s a green jobs boom coming — and that electric cars are a critical part of a revolution that will transform America’s Rust Belt into a Green Belt.

But somehow, Big Labor didn’t get the memo.

After a series of meetings with the UAW this week, the auto industry has launched an ad campaign attacking the Democrats’ radical plan for 56-mpg-by-2025 fuel efficiency standards that effectively mandate hybrid-electric cars. Though the ad has not been explicitly endorsed by the UAW, its timing is conspicuous coming after the meetings — and coming in the wake of much-publicized UAW fears over the job consequences of the draconian rules.

The ad follows a Republican-sponsored amendment in the U.S. House that strips the rogue EPA of its attempt to mandate mpg standards without Congressional approval.

“We are trying to stop nothing short of the brazen EPA attempt to override congressional fuel-mileage-standards oversight and impose a radical leftist agenda,” says amendment sponsor John Carter (R., Texas). “Washington bureaucrats are so out-of-touch with real life in America they can’t conceive of the personal and economic damage they would cause by effectively taking the American pickup off the road.”

It is the perceived threat to trucks — the biggest moneymakers for Detroit automakers and a market segment they dominate — that has spooked the Auto Alliance and UAW. The ads will launch in states “where residents buy large numbers of light trucks,” reports the Detroit News.

Only small hybrid-electric cars currently meet the equally absurd, congressionally imposed standards requiring all cars AVERAGE 35.5 mpg-by-2015 — an indication of how Obama’s zealots seek to eliminate everything but small hybrids by 2025.

“After tough times, today’s auto industry is on the road to economic recovery. But an upcoming decision threatens that progress,” the ad says. “Soon, the federal government will announce new fuel economy standards.”

The ad (ahem) doesn’t mention that the automakers swallowed the arbitrary 2015 standards — because they were sucking on the federal bailout teet — which only emboldened the EPA’s green zealots.

Aware that the UAW isn’t drinking the new 56 mpg Kool-Aid, greenies like Stabenow have diverted millions in taxpayer dollars to battery makers to try and goose “green” jobs. But the union still isn’t buying. Sean McAlinden, a respected economist for the Center for Automotive Research has predicted that the EPA rule will cost hundreds of thousands of auto jobs as production is forced overseas to build the new electric econoboxes (even today, most automakers make their small, gas-powered cars abroad, where labor rates are cheaper).

Green and blue-collar don’t mix. The UAW’s message: Stabenow & Co. need to come up with bigger bribes.

Henry Payne — Henry Payne is the auto critic for the Detroit News.

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