But does Joe Knollenberg ask for corporate responsibility for the troubles of the auto industry and tell the auto manufacturers, let them eat cake? No. Does he want to hold the auto industry responsible for increasing fuel economy? No.
Apparently Knollenberg is at odds with John McCain on this issue also. McCain does want to raise CAFE standards, as he told the Eccentric.
Knollenbeg can't have it both ways, by being in favor of free trade that ships good paying American jobs overseas and then turning around and saying we have to help the auto industry by offering them money to save American jobs. That's not leadership. That's pandering to Joe's auto industry campaign contributors.
"He said he believes in free trade and making the auto industry raise fuel-economy standards. He said the state's auto industry "is not finished."
"Of course the old kind of doing business is not coming back. ... We've got to retrain and educate workers" to take advantage of the new economy, he said. He believes the Big 3 have leveled the playing field through recent contract negotiations."
Knollenberg aims to aid auto industry
by Greg Kowalski
ECCENTRIC STAFF WRITER
The embattled auto industry would get a helping hand with new legislation being proposed by Congressman Joe Knollenberg.
Speaking at the Automation Alley offices Tuesday in Troy, the Bloomfield Township Republican - who is embroiled in a hotly contested re-election bid against Democrat Gary Peters - unveiled a plan to stimulate the economy and "help the Big Three compete."
"This will be a huge shot in the arm to grow our Michigan economy," Knollenberg said.
The proposed legislation would broaden the availability of research and development tax credits for companies; provide support for research in advanced batteries; create two hydrogen fuel pilot programs; require the EPA to streamline protocols and regulations on biodiesel fuel; and establish an inter-agency federal task force on CAFE standards.
CAFE - the Corporate Average Fuel Economy - standard sets how many miles per gallon a vehicle gets. The standards, 35 miles per gallon by 2020, could cost the automakers $85 billion to achieve and add thousands of dollars to the price of a car, Knollenberg said.
"The entire auto industry will make tremendous investments in technology (with the proposed legislation)," said Robert Babik, director of Emissions, Environment and Energy for General Motors.
He spoke in favor of the legislation, as did Fred Hoffman, director of Government Relations for Chrysler, and Charlie Pryde, director of Government Relations for Ford.
Although the Big Three are competitors, "I don't think there is an inch of space between us in support of the legislations," Hoffman said.
The legislation "will provide critical help to the auto industry," Pryde said.
Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said the legislation was a perfect match for the focus of Automation Alley, which is a hub of industry research and development.
"It's good for Michigan and good for the global economy," Patterson said.
Whether it, or at least parts of it, is enacted into law remains to be seen.
On the heels of the announcement, Peters issued a statement blasting Knollenberg.
"Real leadership means not waiting for a crisis to take action," said Peters. "I'm going to go to Washington and I'm going to start fighting for Michigan families and Michigan jobs on day one. I'm going to stop giving tax breaks to companies that ship jobs overseas and stop giving billions in subsidies to big oil companies who are raking in record profits."