Mary in the Motor City

With that in mind, state Gov. Mary Fallin, along with her Energy Secretary Michael Ming and Commerce Secretary Dave Lopez, are visiting Detroit today to pitch a multi-state, bipartisan compressed natural gas vehicle initiative to U.S. automakers.

Fallin was among a dozen governors who wrote automakers in April expressing their commitment to explore ways to purchase more CNG-powered state fleets.

Today’s initiative is an attempt to establish the demand and incentive for Detroit to design and sell suitable CNG-powered passenger vehicles that can be used by public fleets and private-sector consumers.

For those keeping score at home: Fallin opposed and voted against the auto industry bailout as a congresswoman in 2008, saying it was “characterized as a ‘bridge’ to allow the Big Three to operate until early next year. If that’s the case, it is simply a ‘bridge too far,’” she said at the time. “With our deficit rising and our economy continuing to shrink, cutting every struggling company a multibillion dollar check is simply not an option.”

Despite her cavalier attitude about constructing that ‘bridge,’ its existence affords Fallin & Co. the opportunity to influence an industry that might not otherwise exist in the post-economic meltdown U.S. Thanks to others who expended political capital to bolster the auto industry, Oklahoma natural gas companies have a shot at raking in tons of cash.

What was that about government picking winners and losers again?

Gazette staff

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