The plan is hanging on by a thread right now in the Senate, according to a newly released article from the Associated Press.
Last month, in Detroit for the North American International Auto Show, I had a great conversation with a highly experienced E-flex director, Gregory Cesiel, at General Motors. One of the great challenges of changing propulsion systems is having the consumers eager to purchase the vehicles…i.e. enough customers to make producing the cars viable. I asked him why the government didn’t change their own government fleet contract to hybridize all their vehicles. He was surprised that I asked the question and, in fact, that was exactly what some of the discussion was at the time. This was confirmed in Obama’s speech on Thursday — the government fleet will be hybridized — creating jobs in the auto industry and for the American manufacturing plants that will be producing American-made lithium-ion car batteries. It was just a sentence…but what a sentence. Those few words may equate to over 900,000 related jobs in the US alone, never mind European markets.
In Obama’s prepared speech (which he departed from in his passionate address), this is what was scripted:
This plan will save or create over three million jobs – almost all of them in the private sector.
This plan will put people to work rebuilding our crumbling roads and bridges; our dangerously deficient dams and levees.
This plan will put people to work modernizing our health care system, not only saving us billions of dollars, but countless lives.
This plan will put people to work renovating more than 10,000 schools, giving millions of children the chance to learn in 21st century classrooms, libraries, and labs – and to all the scientists in the room today, you know what that means for America’s future.
This plan will provide sensible tax relief for the struggling middle-class, unemployment insurance and continued health care coverage for those who’ve lost their jobs, and it will help prevent our states and local communities from laying off firefighters, teachers, and police.
Finally, this plan will begin to end the tyranny of oil in our time. It doubles our capacity to generate alternative sources of energy like wind, solar, and biofuels in three years. It saves taxpayers billions of dollars by making federal buildings more energy efficient, and it saves the average working family hundreds on their energy bills. After decades of empty rhetoric, that is the down payment that we need on energy independence.
There is NO mention of a government fleet of hybrid vehicles. But in his empassioned departure from the teleprompter, he talked about changing over the government fleet to alternative fuel vehicles. This is a big, big statement. And offers MANY prospects for recovery.
Is anyone listening?