Barack Obama, the freshman senator from Illinois, is suggesting that the Big 3 automakers engage in a deal with the devil federal government. In exchange for promises of 3% yearly increases in fuel economy over the next 15 years, he proposes that the government take on the health care liabilities that have been blamed for the domestic automaker's profitability problems. His hope is that the several billion dollars that go towards health care each year would instead be spent on R&D. It's not necessarily a proposal I like, but I give Obama a lot of credit for thinking outside of the box.

Meanwhile, numerous other congressmen from both sides of the aisle continue to find fuel-economy religion. Many of those who fought against fuel-economy measures in the recently passed energy bill are now suggesting that the issue be revisited with an amendment bumping Corporate Average Fuel Economy by 50% over the next decade.

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