Category Archives: Auto Industry
Flint Michigan has third world tap water.
In a cost cutting move the City stopped buying water from Detroit and began building a pipeline to Lake Huron. Detroit cut Flint off before the pipeline was complete. The city began drawing water from the Flint River. People complained that the water was foul and smelly. The water department insisted it was safe.
The Flint water was so corrosive the auto industry stopped using it. The corrosion damaged pipes and caused lead levels to rise to five times acceptable levels.
Now it’s a huge infrastructure problem with no fix in sight. The entire population depends on bottled water passed out at fire stations.
The EPA didn’t acknowledge the water crisis in Flint until President Obama announced emergency federal help last week.
EPA also dragged its feet on its release of 3 million gallons of water from the Gold King Mine into the Animas River in Colorado last summer.
After seven years of dithering, President Obama killed the Keystone pipeline on Friday. He said the project wouldn’t make a meaningful long term contribution to the economy.
Matt Lewis in The Week explains the real reason the president took so long. Labor unions were for the pipeline and environmentalists were against it. Labor isn’t happy:
We are dismayed and disgusted that the president has once again thrown the members of [The Laborers’ International Union of North America], and other hard-working, blue-collar workers under the bus of his vaunted ‘legacy,’ while doing little or nothing to make a real difference in global climate change. His actions are shameful. [LIUNA, via The Hill]
New Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took the slap in the face more gracefully.
Reuters reports that Volkswagen will “repair” up to 11 million cars rigged to give misleading emissions info to inspectors. The “fix” will cost $6.5 billion.
The evil geniuses at VW figured out a way for its diesel emissions systems to recognize when they were being tested. During a test the system stifles emissions according to government standards. The rest of the time the system turns itself down or off, allowing for great mileage and more power but higher emissions.
Who but the greenest among us is going to want to bring his car in for that repair?
It looks like GM might avoid liability for some lawsuits over it’s ignition switches. The bankruptcy judge ruled the company can’t be sued for anything that happened before the government bailout.