We can use auto financing to get off oil and reduce emissions even faster while boosting the auto market.
The Obama team announced today it will inject $7 billion into the auto financing company GMAC to shore it up and help it absorb Chrysler auto loans.
This is an opportunity to implement green auto financing. Should American taxpayers shoulder the loans of more guzzler purchases, digging us deeper into oil dependency?
The President made it clear on the White House lawn this week with the increase of mileage standards that we can start to get off of oil. He said that "as a result of this agreement, we will save 1.8 billion barrels of oil over the lifetime of the vehicles sold in the next five years." Transportation Secretary Lahood added, "This program lessens our dependence on oil and is good for America and the planet."
If the taxpayer will now foot the bill for auto financing then we should get something in return - cleaner air and lower oil imports.
Once GMAC absorbs the current loan pool of Chrysler, all new auto financings from GMAC should be allocated based on credit and on the efficiency of the car being purchased. Our dollars should not go to finance gas guzzlers which give respiratory conditions to our children and send our capital to oil-rich countries.
If you want to buy a Hummer, (while they are are still being made), you are free to pay cash or find alternative financing - just don't use our money to sink us further in the hole.