Say hello to the newest government lobbying group: car salesmen! The AP is reporting that GM CEO Rick Wagoner asked car dealerships to lobby their state and local governments to not regulate tailpipe emissions. Here is exactly what Rick said in a speech at the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) meeting in San Francisco attended by about 10,000 dealers and their spouses:

We're not going to be able to accomplish everything that we otherwise could. ... We need to work together to educate policymakers at the state and local levels on the importance of tough but national standards. ... Dealers are very effective in the political process because we don't have a plant in every state. ... We have dealers in every state.

Last year, Congress passed a new CAFE standard but California was denied a waiver to regulate tailpipe emissions in its state. California and other states are still fighting to get the waiver to regulate tailpipe emissions and if that happens, Rick says automakers will have to focus on meeting state regulations and won't be able to focus as much on alternative fuel vehicles.

Seems this is not the first time car dealerships might impact policy making. After the speech, Rick said car dealers were a valuable help in the CAFE debate in Congress last year. What's he talking about? Last year, in the middle of the debate on CAFE, NADA launched a website listing the number of light trucks sold sorted by political districts.

Car salesman/government lobbyist? I guess it's not really a stretch ... especially for used car salesmen.

Related:
[Source: Associated Press]


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