Michigan lawmakers ask Obama to back new auto loans

In a letter to Obama on economic stimulus priorities, the Michigan congressional delegation also sought more than $4 billion in grants and loan guarantees for development of advanced batteries and battery systems.

“We are coming to the game late and must build capability quickly to keep up,” said the letter signed by both senators, Democrats Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow, and the state’s 15 members of the House of Representatives.

Nearly all batteries for hybrid electric vehicles are made in Japan and in other Asian countries. General Motors Corp, Ford Motor Co and Chrysler LLC are pushing ahead with plans for electric vehicle production. Smaller companies are also building or planning to build electric vehicles.

U.S. government spending on advanced batteries jumped from $24 million in 2006 to $56 million last year. The amount is considered inadequate for helping Detroit manufacturers make the transition to more efficient vehicles in a timeframe that satisfies consumer demand and helps them recover financially,political article.

House Democrats proposed $2 billion for battery technology loan guarantees in their stimulus bill earlier this month.

In September, Congress and the Bush administration freed up $25 billion in advanced technology loans designed to help cash-strapped GM, Ford and Chrysler finance factory retooling necessary for manufacturing hybrids and electric vehicles.

All three companies black porn have submitted applications to the Energy Department, which is administering the program.

The loan program is separate from the $17 billion bailout of GM and Chrysler approved by the White House mobile porn in December.

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