Kerry Set to Unveil Swing-State-Friendly Energy Proposals

As Grist revealed yesterday, energy — or more specifically, the national-security and economic dangers of dependence on foreign oil — is to be one of John Kerry’s top four campaign issues. Kerry has traditionally sided with the conservation folks against the drill-drill-drill folks, and that has included support for increased fuel-efficiency (CAFE) standards for cars and trucks. However, CAFE increases are unpopular in the crucial swing state of Michigan, where autoworkers fear the loss of jobs. So tonight in his speech at the Democratic convention, Kerry is expected to finesse the issue, passing over CAFE to touch on the component of his energy plan that would dedicate $10 billion to job-creating subsidies and tax breaks for automakers and consumers to encourage the manufacture and purchase of fuel-efficient cars. It remains to be seen whether this tactic will win support in Michigan, but a positive editorial in the Detroit Free Press and the enthusiastic support of the United Autoworkers Union seem to bode well.