The U.S. Congress will be seeing a bill this week that, if adopted, would allow automakers the ability to obtain $20 billion in federally backed loan guarantees. The bill is open to any auto manufacturer including foreign-based Toyota and Honda, but it's clearly targeted at the domestics. As the credit ratings of the Big 3 continue to drop, this bill could potentially save them hundreds of millions of dollars while fomenting the development of clean-air technologies. U.S. Representative Mike Rogers, the bill's author, says it would "level the cost of investment capital in the United States between domestic and Japanese auto manufacturers."
The way it would work is that the U.S. Department of Energy would be given the authority to approve loan guarantees to auto manufacturers for alternative-fuel research and development projects. If the auto manufacturer defaults on the loan, the U.S. Treasury would be forced to repay it.

A Ford spokesman said they support the measure while GM spokesman Greg Martin implied they weren't seeking loan guarantees. He said, "It's an intriguing idea that merits consideration, but right now our turnaround and our success rests on the advanced technology that we are putting in our cars and trucks today."

[Source: Detroit News]

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