A $25 billion fund created during the Bush Administration to help promote the development of clean, fuel-efficient automobiles has survived an assault by Republican lawmakers who had hoped to chip away $1.5 billion for use in disaster relief efforts.
Conservatives, particularly in the House, have been questioning the Department of Energy’s Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing loan program since it was picked up and championed by the Obama Administration. With the government running a deep deficit they’d hoped to divert some of the fund for relief efforts – including assistance to one of the key Republican’s own state.
But with the White House refusing to give in, that effort has been abandoned – for now. With the program going slower than anticipated, even some clean car advocates are questioning its value and observers say the DoE program could yet face cuts – or even be killed off entirely as the budget debate drags on.