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Big three U.S. automaker CEOs should go green everyday

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John F. Martin/General Motors

GM Chairman Rick Wagoner poses with a Chevy Malibu Sedan.


The head honchos of the big three U.S. automakers are back on Capitol Hill pleading for an even larger bailout this time. Last month, the executives flew to Washington, D.C. on private corporate jets to ask congress for a helping hand of $25 billion dollars in loans. This week, the big chiefs of Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler made the 520 mile trek from Detroit to D.C. in fuel efficient vehicles to plead their case for a $34 billion bailout.

GM CEO Rick Wagoner reportedly drove a Chevy Malibu hybrid sedan to the nation’s capital. Not to be out greened, Ford CEO Alan Mulally and Chrysler CEO Robert Nardelli made the road trip in hybrid or fuel cell vehicles produced by their companies as well. It’s hard not to see their decision to hit the road as just a token gesture or a publicity stunt, but congressional lawmakers can make it the beginning of relevant change.  

In Washington, the automaker executives are on the hot seat again, testifying about restructuring plans they hope will convince lawmakers to back a money deal for their companies. The three executives reportedly have agreed to forgo their million dollar salaries and work for $1 a year. Well, congress can go a step further by requiring the top executives to ride in green vehicles, whenever possible, to show that their companies are serious about building the kind of environmentally friendly vehicles consumers are anxious to buy.

Folks can give their congressional leaders a nudge in this direction by sending letters and e-mails urging that any bailout package for the Big Three automakers include language requiring the CEOs to drive green every day of the year. That would be the best kind of promotion for the U.S. auto industry as it struggles to become competitive in these tough economic times. 


One Response to Big three U.S. automaker CEOs should go green everyday

  1. Bruce McIntire Friday, December 5, 2008 at 2:37 pm #

    A friend of mine just emailed me one of your articles from a while back. I read that one a few more. Really enjoy your blog. Thanks

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