News & Views » Columns

Gas bagged



The Senate put its lips to the auto industry’s tailpipe and sucked hard last week. Instead of mandating increased fuel efficiency standards, our lawmakers chose to bury their heads in the crude, voting 62-38 to put the matter into the limp hands of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Such groups as the American Academy of Sciences, which found that fuel efficiency could be drastically improved without compromising safety, were ignored as a majority of senators — with Michigan Democrat Carl Levin leading the way — put pedal to metal and, with the UAW’s encouragement, sped off in the wrong direction.

Instead of taking the high road and displaying some true political courage, the senators voting for this bill — including our own Debbie Stabenow — chose to use the American flag as a rag to wipe the dipstick of big oil.

“I am ashamed …” Sierra Club President Carl Pope stated in a release. “Six months after the assault on the World Trade Center, as American troops died closing in on yet one more al Qaeda stronghold in Paktia Province, as American emissaries traveled the Middle East trying to figure out how to keep the oil flowing while stanching the bloodshed, Detroit decided. It chose the past.”

Curt Guyette is Metro Times news editor. Contact him at 313-202-8004 or

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.