Behind the Wheel with Phil Lebeau

What Would You Do If You Were Obama?

President Barack Obama

Now that he's taken the oath of office a second time, watched the Jesse White Tumblers in the inaugural parade, and danced at several balls celebrating his inauguration, President Obama faces some tough choices with the auto industry.

What should he do?

What would you do if you were sitting in the oval office?

Below are your choices. Write me at with a short explanation about what you would do. I'll read them, and let come back with some of the more interesting answers.

• Hold GM/Chrysler to the bailout deadlines?

The UAW says re-working its contracts by March 31st may not be possible. Meanwhile, others are saying the complexity of the Fiat/Chrysler deal will require giving these guys more time.

• Allow states to set their own, more restrictive, emission standards?

When President Obama campaigned, he said he was ok with California having more restrictive tailpipe emissions than the federal government. The question now is whether that is still a good idea since allowing every state to set its own emissions adds cost and complexity to the auto industry. Should Washington set one national standard?

• Increase fuel efficiency requirements?

As a candidate, Mr. Obama called for auto makers to meet and average of 50 MPG within 18 years. It sounded good on the campaign trail, but in reality, it will mean pushing the Big 3 to spend even more re-tooling plants and developing next generation vehicles. These guys don't have much, if any money. So that means Uncle Sam giving them more cash to make this transition.

• Wild card/your choice

The Transportation Secretary walks in to the oval office and says, "Mr. President, what would you like to do?". Here's your chance to mandate a change other than what I've outlined above. What would you do?

There are your choices. I'll be curious to see what you have to say.

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- Ford Motor

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