Obama transition leader John Podesta told Reuters in November 2008 that Obama wants to ensure that the auto industry survives to produce “the kind of vehicles that the American public need, and complete the job of creating more efficient vehicles that meet our energy needs.”
Matthew DeBord. “Bail Out Detroit — Right Now!”. Huffington Post. 20 Nov. 2008 – “if — and this is a big if — we can get Detroit back on its feet, with much needed concessions to raise its sustainability game, then we will have established a vanguard for a Green New Deal. There’s a very real, once-in-a-century opportunity to utterly transform a major American manufacturing enterprise. It will cost anywhere from $25 billion to $50 billion, depending on how the deal is structured. That’s a bargain.
[…]it’s virtually unprecedented that the American people have a chance to dictate future terms to an enormous component of the industrial economy. There’s now broad agreement that, over the course of the next decade, we need to retool the economy to be an engine of environmental innovation. This will have to be a multistage process where the automotive sector is concerned. As I’ve argued, once Detroit is rescued, given the falling price of gas, it needs to be able to sell its most profitable vehicles, trucks and SUVs, to revive its cash position. But after that, we need to see some genuine, measurable process on fuel economy and emissions, followed by aggressive R&D in the areas of advanced and sustainable mobility. We could let Detroit fail and throw the money at the many future-car startups that are currently out there, but that won’t provide enough product to market, in a speedy manner, to deliver the improvements we require.
We’ll never have another opportunity to take millions of U.S. workers and transform them, practically overnight, into Green warriors. And we need to do it before Christmas. The North American International Auto Show, which will be staged in Detroit in early 2009, can’t be a funeral. It has to be a rebirth.