Will Obama's Support of Advanced Batteries Encourage Sprawl?

The Obama administration has pumped $2.5 billion in stimulus funds into the advanced battery industry, with the goal of creating manufacturing jobs. But will supporting green cars mean supporting sprawl in the long-term?

Several urbanist writers have been remarking on a recent New York Times article titled "Does America Need Manufacturing?" The article focuses on the Obama administration's embrace of the lithium-ion battery industry, which it sees as a win-win because of job creation combined with green technology. But commenters wonder if creating batteries that extend the life of the car industry is a good thing.

Matt Yglesias writes:

"As long as the federal government remains formally and informally committed to the proposition that "what's good for General Motors is good for America" it's not really possible to have sound transportation policies writ large. You can try to take this cars/oil/steel industrial policy and nudge it in a greener direction with subsidies for electric cars, but no car-focused industrial policy is going to be as green as backing away from having the most energy intensive possible built environment of roads, homes, and offices."

Full Story: Automobile-Focused Industrial Policy


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