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Ford Asks Bush to Convene Energy Summit

The Detroit News reports that Ford Chairman and CEO Bill Ford Jr. has asked President Bush to convene a summit to discuss the nation’s energy issues and the auto industry’s role in finding a solution.

Ford told Bush in a letter requesting the summit that the company would continue to “work proactively” with the administration to set new fuel economy standards through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Ford may be the first automaker to break ranks—even superficially—with the auto industry’s united front against increases in fuel economy regulations.

Prior to 2001, the auto industry lobbied successfully for six years to prevent the U.S. Department of Transportation from even studying an increase in fuel economy standards.

Now, with rising gas prices, a growing public awareness of oil imports coming from the Middle East, and gasoline supply issues in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the nation is facing an urgent need to do more, said Ziad Ojakli, Ford's group vice president of corporate affairs.

[...] White House spokesman Allen Abney said the Bush administration had not yet reviewed the letter and couldn’t offer any specific response to the call for a energy summit.

[...] But not everyone is optimistic about the chances of success of such an energy summit. David Friedman, research director of clean vehicles for the Union of Concerned Scientists in Washington, said Vice President Dick Cheney worked with a similar-sounding task force four years ago that ended up downplaying conservation in the national energy policy.

“This is more of the Bill Ford that we expected to see and have been hoping to see,” Friedman said. “But you’ve got to take some concrete steps, too.”

(A hat-tip to Jack Rosebro!)



Does Bush, or perhaps more importantly, his handlers even admit to the connection between fuel economy and national security? You certainly wouldn't know it based on their record!

Get out and yell and scream about the poor job Bush and Co. is doing this weekend at the anti-war rally:

It beats grumbling at the front page every day ;)



I'm sure Ford is looking at higher CAFE regulations as a defense against temporary drops in fuel prices; if other companies (like GM) aren't allowed to capitalize on fickle consumer trends, it's safe to devote the company to more-efficient vehicles.


Why would Bush care, even if gas should go to $10/gal?


Bush has to consider the effect of fuel prices and his low approval rating will have on next year's congressional elections. He may be (I hope) faced with a Democratic majority in 2007.
I saw a chart that showed Bush's approval rating matched the amount of gas a dollar could buy.


Anyone stupid enough to vote for a republican in next years mid-term "elections" deserves what they will get.

Unfortunately, so will the rest of us.

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