Economic crisis should be seen as an opportunity to retool the auto industry

At a town hall speech in Elkhart, Ind., President Obama today continued his campaign to push the stimulus package through congress. He stressed how this economic downturn was an opportunity to “retool” the US auto industry in an essential effort to compete more effectively against foreign firms. The compromised stimulus package includes $2 billion in research grants towards battery development as well as tax credits and low interest loans for buyers and manufacturers of hybrid vehicles. A disappointing aspect of the compromise itself was a cutting from $600 million to $300 million towards purchasing government fleets of plug-in hybrid and flex-fuel vehicles. The president is a strong supporter of this method of leading by example. However, it seems that opposition to the package are determined to continue on their short-sighted quest to cut spending on more efficient and cleaner vehicles and their respective technologies.

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