More on the Pelosi-Dingell Smackdown

smackdown.jpgHouse Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) clearly got the best of it in the CAFE fight with John Dingell (D-MI). After all, the Senate had 35 miles per gallon as the final mileage target, so that was Pelosi’s bottom line — and she got it.

The New York Times reported the back story today, pointing out that Pelosi has answered the central question she was facing — “could she handle the powerful Democratic committee chairmen?”

With the deal on a major energy bill on Friday evening, the answer was clear. Ms. Pelosi had effectively corralled the oldest and arguably the baddest of the “old bulls,” Representative John D. Dingell Jr. of Michigan, chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee.

In this case, the 81-year-old Dingell couldn’t fight the one painful reality of the times — oil prices much higher than his age! So he gave in with only a little fight and a few face-saving provisions. Dingell remained gracious:

Discussing the energy deal, Mr. Dingell praised Ms. Pelosi.

“She is doing a good job,” he said. “She is a strong speaker, and I am doing my best to work with her and she is doing her best to work with me.”

Is that the theme from Rocky I that I hear in the background? Well, maybe from Rocky III or IV (“Eye of the Tiger”) since, of course, Rocky doesn’t actually win in the first movie.

3 Responses to More on the Pelosi-Dingell Smackdown

  1. KELLIB says:

    Yes, finally someone is showing Dingell that he does not hold all the power on climate-related legislation. Bravo to Pelosi who won the CAFE standards which are much needed in order to reduce our carbon emissions 80% by 2050, but hopefully someone will stick up to Dingell and push for the RES we need also. Dingell’s pocket is full of the energy industry’s money, so it will be difficult especially after he voted against new RES in August. Dingell should start setting a progressive example in Congress to stop global warming now before it is too late.

  2. John says:

    Don’t mean to be a curmudgeon, but doesn’t the 35mpg CAFE standard by 2020 seem too little, too late? With CAFE and the flex fuel games car makers play, that means we’ll still be selling Hummer-like cars in 2020., and those will stay on the road for an average of 15-20 years (or until 2040). What part of this isn’t insane?

    This falls into the category of the tragdy of small victories.

    We’ve got cars NOW that get 45 mpg (real, not EPA-rated) and it seems to me, That something like 50-60 by 2020 would make sense.

  3. Joe says:

    We’ll get there. Maybe not 2020, but maybe 2030/2035 — gotta start somewhere, tho.