Advocacy group urges Obama to include auto suppliers in energy proposal

By Dustin Walsh
CRAIN’S DETROIT BUSINESS

Published: March 27, 2013 2:34 pm ET
Updated: March 27, 2013 2:36 pm ET

Related to this story

Topics Sustainability, Government & Legislation, Automotive

DETROIT — President Barack Obama wants to steer offshore oil drilling revenue to green research — and the automotive industry wants in.

The Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association, the Washington D.C.-based advocacy group used by the auto industry, sent a letter to the White House Monday urging the inclusion of suppliers in the proposal.

President Obama unveiled the "Blueprint for a Clean Secure Energy Future" proposal last week. The proposal would establish the Energy Security Trust to set aside $2 billion over 10 years from royalty revenues generated by oil and gas development in federal waters on the Outer Continental Shelf.

The funds are earmarked to support research into such initiatives as electric vehicles, biofuels, fuel cells and domestically produced natural gas.

The supply base accounts for 30 percent of the $18 billion research and development investment in automotive, according to MEMA. Also, 70 percent of intellectual capital and deployment of technologies comes from the supply base, the organization noted in the letter.

"This is an opportunity to take advantage of the momentum of change that is now occurring in our industry sector and to learn from the lessons of the past," MEMA President Robert McKenna said in the letter.

However, the proposal is reported to face opposition from Republicans who want to expand drilling to other areas, such as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska.

President Obama will also likely face opposition due to snafus in the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing loan program. The $25 billion program awarded money to Ford Motor Co., Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. and others, including a $528.7 million loan to Fisker Automotive Inc. and a $249 million grant to A123 Systems LLC.

A123, which has plants in Livonia and Romulus, filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in October, then was acquired by Chinese supplier Wanxiang Group in an auction.

Fisker's founder Henrik Fisker left the electric carmaker he founded earlier this month after the struggling company was unable to close on a deal to sell to Chinese-owned automaker Zhejiang Geely Holding Group.

MEMA was also upset over the ATVM program (Section 136 of the Energy and Security Act of 2007), claiming the DOE didn't include enough suppliers and that the current plan doesn't specify the involvement of suppliers.

"Our history with 136 would indicate that it is easy to neglect suppliers in the process," Ann Wilson, senior vice president of MEMA, said in an email. "Over 100 suppliers applied for the program and none received funding because of a narrow interpretation by DOE."


Comments

Advocacy group urges Obama to include auto suppliers in energy proposal

By Dustin Walsh
CRAIN’S DETROIT BUSINESS

Published: March 27, 2013 2:34 pm ET
Updated: March 27, 2013 2:36 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Major packaging merger includes plastics operations

January 26, 2015 12:24 pm ET

A merger of packaging companies MeadWestvaco Corp. and Rock-Tenn Inc. will create a new company with nearly $16 billion in annual sales.    More

Image

Auto industry on the hunt for new lightweight materials

January 26, 2015 4:03 pm ET

The auto industry is focusing on lightweighting, and this is igniting a race to find new materials that can meet ever-changing performance needs of...    More

Image

Continental builds low-emission interior trim factory in China

January 26, 2015 12:33 pm ET

Benecke-Kaliko AG is making the largest investment in its history to build an environmentally friendly auto interior trim plant in China, prompted by ...    More

Image

UK legislators debate fracking

January 26, 2015 12:19 pm ET

LONDON — An influential group of members of Parliament has called for a moratorium to be imposed on fracking for shale gas as politicians...    More

Image

Oxo-biodegradable lobby slams 'scaremongering'

January 26, 2015 12:16 pm ET

Single-use plastic carrier bags made from biodegradable material should be exempted from the government’s proposed 5p-a-bag levy in England, sup...    More

Market Reports

Plastics in Automotive: Innovation & Emerging Trends

This special report newly released by PN and sponsored by The Conair Group examines current trends in the use of plastics in automotive, materials innovations and the changing landscape. It includes a review of legislative/regulatory activity impacting vehicle development and lightweighting, market opportunities & challenges for mold and toolmakers, innovative design strategies being implemented by major OEMs and suppliers, as well as a review of key indicators in Canada, Mexico, Brazil and China.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Injection Molding Market Analysis & Processor Rankings

Plastics News BUNDLED package contains our in-depth Market Analysis of the Injection Molding segment. You will gain keen insight on current trends and our economic outlook.

As a BONUS this includes PN's updated 2014 database of North American Injection Molders RANKED by sales volume. Sort, merge, mail & prospect by end market, materials processed, region, # of plants and more.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events