Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Shaking in Policy Boots

The opposition is getting worried and you can tell when their rhetoric starts to sound like this:
At the same time, many environmental groups, labor unions, consultants, and construction companies are urging the federal government to redirect federal transportation policy toward 19th century transportation options by shifting federal resources from highways and autos to transit and trains, as well as hiking and biking, in the belief that these latter modes--while slower and more costly--are more fuel efficient and environmentally friendly. With an opportunity to receive greater subsidies, the transit and train lobbies have moved aggressively to influence Congress and the media, and many in Congress are already promising to push for these changes.
In other words, watch out for BIG RAIL and SUPERTRAINS! Turns out, Obama doesn't listen to these dudes. We're looking at transit stimulus rather than Iran War Games at Heritage. The rest of the Heritage article is the usual shpiel about ridership share and all the other BS you come to expect from the sprawlistas.

This brings up another issue that Yglesias talked about today as well. With the auto industry, these guys (Cox and Utt) have been pushing hard in parrallel with the auto industry for standards that deny many people a lifestyle they would like to have and independence from an expensive habit.
The auto industry has provided a decent living to a large number of Americans for many decades. But it’s also been a very pernicious force on our public policy. If car companies expect progressives to deliver them a financial rescue, then it only seems fair to me that progressives will want the companies to stop blocking key elements of the progressive political agenda. That means dropping lawsuits like the one aimed at forcing California to lower its fuel efficiency standards, it means stopping involvement in whatever anti-green climate change front groups these firms are involved with, it means seeing members of congress from Michigan and other rust belt areas offering assurances to colleagues that they won’t stand in the way of serious climate legislation, etc.
These firms will be okay. Giving federal subsidies that are then used to lobby for pro-pollution public policy is not okay.
If only we could stop junk planning theory as well.


Gary said...

Nice post. Who does listen to Heritage, anyway? A bunch of mouthbreathing rightwing cretins.

Alon Levy said...

I'm increasingly starting to support bailing out GM on the grounds that it'll make it impossible for it to ever object to rail subsidies again. The bailout isn't going to make it profitable soon (and if it is, it'll be a great economic success), so it'll be in so shape to keep contributing to anti-rail pseudo-scholarship.

Justin said...

Surprisingly, lot of people listen to these right-wing think tanks.

It's quite scary, really.

Anonymous said...

Not again! Who wrote this garbage? Wendell Cox? Randal O'Toole? I don't ever want to see any of this trash as long as I live!

They're running scared. They're scared of things like rail electrification. All this crap about a supposed sinister "big rail" lobby sounds like a Randal O'Toole rehash.