WASHINGTON -- Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry has revived a proposal for a $1 billion-a-year subsidy for automakers that convert factories to build "more efficient, advanced technology automobiles."
The Massachusetts senator first proposed the funding while he was campaigning for his party's nomination in June 2003. It resurfaced in an energy plan that the Kerry-Edwards campaign issued last Friday. The plan says a Kerry administration would "strengthen fuel efficiency of automobiles," but it does not mention the dramatic hikes in fuel economy standards Kerry has backed in the Senate.
An industry executive who asked not to be named said automakers need more details about the subsidy plan. But he said it is likely to be criticized as "industrial policy" that picks winners and losers rather than letting the marketplace decide.