GM's Champion Stalls

Following the election victory of Barack Obama, veteran Democratic Congressman John Dingell has been ousted as chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce by Henry Waxman. Prior to the vote, the director of the Safe Climate Campaign, Dan Becker, described Dingell as having been the single biggest obstacle for over thirty years to forcing major U.S. car companies to build more fuel-efficient cars. "Mr. Dingell," Becker said, "is literally married to General Motors." Dingell's wife, Debbie Dingell, is Executive Director of Public Affairs and Community Relations for General Motors and Vice Chairman of General Motors Foundation. She was recently described as the company's "most familiar face in Washington." While she doesn't directly lobby members of Congress or the administration, the New York Times reported that "she makes the case for the company, the auto industry and the state of Michigan in public and in private."