ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. The
aluminum industry has a good story to tell to both Republicans
and Democrats when it comes to meeting stricter fuel economy
standards in the United States, according to one political
Former President George W. Bush
pushed for tougher fuel economy regulations in 2009, although
they were mild compared with those in place in Europe and
Japan, said Carl Cannon, Washington editor for
RealClearPolitics.com, and President Obama is looking
to boost those standards to as much as 54.5 miles per gallon by
"There is no known technology
that can make that happen except aluminum," Cannon said in a
presentation at the Aluminum Associations spring meeting
in Isle of Palms. "Right now, you guys are the whole game. ...
Thats a story you have been telling, and its worth
telling again and again."
Unlike on many other issues,
both Democrats and Republicans have "no reason not to really
listen," he said.
The current political climate on
Capitol Hill "inevitably" leads to gridlock, Cannon said, who
blamed the divide in part on distrust between Republicans and
Democrats who are beholden to their parties ideologues.
In the past, conservative Democrats in the South bridged the
gap between the two parties, generally allowing for palatable
compromises, but without that "third party" the current
environment is far more divisive, Cannon said.
Yet both Republicans and
Democrats are suffering such low poll figures that each
sidewhile still far apart on most issuesmight be
looking for some common ground. "Each side has a reason to
deal. They are both, in public opinion, sort of teetering. And
this is a moment, if they are looking at those polls, they have
reason to get together," he said.
Cannon expects Obama to approve
TransCanada Corp.s proposed Keystone XL pipeline
proposal. "The President wants to get behind that. He wants to
endorse it. I think some accommodation will be reached," he
said. "The President was inclined to do it, to sign off on it.
He got kind of bullied ... by his own wing."
The Keystone XL project has
faced numerous setbacks, including the denial of a presidential
permit last year (
amm.com, Feb. 15, 2012).