GM and Chrysler using bailout money to sue taxpayers?

February 3, 2009

(ChattahBox) — While begging the federal government to the tune of $14 billion to stay afloat last month, General Motors (GM) and Chrysler LLC are continuing to bite at the hands that feeds them.

The automakers have been fighting California and other states who are trying to raise fuel-efficiency standards in court for several years and don’t seem to get the signal it’s time to relent. Earlier this week, President Obama instructed the EPA to reconsider the case of California’s existing proposal  Last week the automakers pledged to continue that fight despite the president’s signal and consistent message for a “green” auto industry. Except, as it stands now, the impoverished automakers are basically spending their taxpayer bailout money to sue the government and taxpayers themselves.

As California’s attorney general, Jerry Brown, pointed out on NPR:

“The irony here is the auto companies want a bailout, in many ways because they weren’t building the kind of cars that were compatible with today’s energy market – and at the same time, they want to keep going with their lawsuits, which have already cost millions and millions of dollars.”

Charles Territo, a spokesman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers retorts, “And all manufacturers have opposed the standards. Those lawsuits were brought by the entire industry, to protect the longstanding federal law that says that fuel-efficiency standards should be set at the federal level and not by individual states.”

It should be noted so far the auto manufacturers have lost all the cases that have gone to trial.

So why continue to fight higher emission standards and lose more money when the bailout mandate is to change? This is a public-relations battle the Big 3 is going to lose.


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