Automakers, suppliers lobby Washington to promote green efforts

It doesn't matter which party is in power in Washington (or state capitals, for that matter), companies that are spending billions of dollars to develop new products and technologies will spend at least a fraction of that amount to lobby politicians for policies that give them a leg up in the market. That's just what Ford, Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) and countless others are doing when it comes to "green vehicle" technology.

Ford reportedly spent $1.42 million in the second quarter of 2010 on lobbyists. The main targets of Ford's lobbying efforts have been twofold: promotion of electric vehicles as it gets ready to launch several plug-in vehicles over the next three years and ending texting while driving. Ford is pushing legislators to withhold federal road funding from states that don't ban texting from behind the wheel. Of course, Ford's motives aren't entirely altruistic – the latest generation of its Sync technology allows drivers to use voice commands to respond to text messages that are read by the car. Automakers as a group also spent $1.45 million through the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers to promote their views on clean air, aftermarket repairs, fuel economy and safety standards.

Meanwhile, industrial agriculture firm ADM spent a chunk of its $340,000 in the second quarter lobbying to maintain or increase subsidies for corn ethanol production and use.

[Source: BusinessWeek, KOAT, Associated Press via Canadian Business]

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