In and outs of the political campaigns, focusing on Michigan and Lansing, Tim Skubick will report regularly throughout the primary and then general election campaigns.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
We're Number One
Michigan is finally number one in something that counts. We have lots of number ones that don't i.e. jobless rate, out migration of families, urban schools on the ropes, and let's not forget the auto industry which is obviously not number one. But with the signing of legislation this week, the state emerges as the most lucrative state offering hefty tax breaks for companies trying to design and build batteries for cars. If the governor has her wish, Michigan will stay there as other states are far behind in the battery race. "There's been a lot of vision here," U.S. Senator Carl Levin beamed at the bill signing ceremony. In fact Michigan anticipated this sweepstakes three years ago long before anyone else thought battery technology would be the wave of the future. Now to be sure Gov. Jennifer Granholm's record on this20subject is shaky. She gloomed onto ethanol at the get go only to see the price of corn skyrocket which cut into whatever energy savings there were from that. But she has on her smiley face as she touts $500 million in tax credits to lure battery folks to Michigan and indeed next week some major announcements on that front will be released. "We are ahead of the curve," chimes in Greg Man the new job czar for the Granholm administration. He and she have their eye on $2 billion in federal battery grants that the Obama administration has teed up for distribution later this spring and Michigan is at the front of the line for that, too. But look out for those lawmakers in Congress from the south who have it in for Michigan. Asked if there was someway they could screw this thing up, Congressman Sandy Levin shouted out, "No," while big brother Carl tacked it, "It will not be for lack of trying."