CAFE Sub-Standard: Mocking John Dingell?

By July 2, 2007Energy, Global Warming, the hard-left activist group, has decided that for its drive to shut down the U.S. economy to succeed, veteran House Committee Chairman John Dingell must be neutered politically. So using the subtlety they’re renowed for, is lampooning the Michigan Democrat as Dingellsaurus. Har, har, har.

Don’t they know anything about Dingell’s political stubbornness (and we say that admiringly). Don’t they realize that mocking Dingell is about the worst tactic available to them? It’s as smart as the radical, unworkable CAFE standards they’re pushing.

From today’s Wall Street Journal, a party-political analysis:

CAFE is a way to appease the green lobby immediately, while taxing Detroit, its workers and American consumers indirectly but significantly over time. Technology exists to further increase fuel efficiency, but that technology costs money. The Big Three will have to pass those costs along to consumers, which will make their products less competitive, while yielding a smaller profit margin on those they do sell. Ford lost $12.7 billion last year as it is.

One Democrat who understands all this is Michigan’s John Dingell, the House Energy and Commerce Chairman who has so far refused to include sweeping new fuel-efficiency standards in his energy bill. He prefers the more modest, flexible standards favored by the Bush Administration and U.S. carmakers. Ms. Pelosi has refused to budge from her plan to pass standards like the Senate’s, however. And so the House CAFE showdown has been postponed until the fall — or until enough Democrats and wealthy Sierra Club donors can beat Mr. Dingell into submission.

Journalists and greens are starting to highlight this debate as a test of Ms. Pelosi’s political manhood, saying she needs to show the venerable Mr. Dingell who’s boss. But it’s more accurate to say this debate is a test of who has more clout in today’s Democratic Congress — the men and women who work in American factories, or the affluent greens on both coasts who can afford to pay a premium to own a Prius to indulge their concern about global warming.

Henry Payne at observes that the favored standards will hit U.S. automakers especially hard. Not that it matters to the Moveon mockers.

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