With that in mind, state Gov. Mary Fallin, along with her Energy Secretary Michael Ming and Commerce Secretary Dave Lopez, are visiting Detroit today to pitch a multi-state, bipartisan compressed natural gas vehicle initiative to U.S. automakers.
Fallin was among a dozen governors who wrote automakers in April expressing their commitment to explore ways to purchase more CNG-powered state fleets.
Todays initiative is an attempt to establish the demand and incentive for Detroit to design and sell suitable CNG-powered passenger vehicles that can be used by public fleets and private-sector consumers.
For those keeping score at home: Fallin opposed and voted against the auto industry bailout as a congresswoman in 2008, saying it was characterized as a bridge to allow the Big Three to operate until early next year. If thats the case, it is simply a bridge too far, she said at the time. With our deficit rising and our economy continuing to shrink, cutting every struggling company a multibillion dollar check is simply not an option.
Despite her cavalier attitude about constructing that bridge, its existence affords Fallin & Co. the opportunity to influence an industry that might not otherwise exist in the post-economic meltdown U.S. Thanks to others who expended political capital to bolster the auto industry, Oklahoma natural gas companies have a shot at raking in tons of cash.
What was that about government picking winners and losers again?