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Michigan is the heart and soul of the nation's auto industry but with the national economic recession -- deep pain across the auto sector.
Is there more than just motors revving up the motor city well on our first day of governor week we are thrilled to be joined by Michigan governor Jennifer grand home.
She is joining us now live thank you governor for coming on not -- -- the closing bell.
You -- -- thanks for having me on our pleasure everybody looks at Michigan and says oh the auto industry any Smart business diversified.
Outside of that.
You're Smart person what are you doing to diversify Michigan.
We're all about.
Diversification we are focusing like a laser particularly in -- emerging sectors but one of those -- an area that I know that you've got a great interest in which is an alternative.
And renewable energy we look at everything that makes us unique -- -- state.
And we are targeting that sector because we've got a lot of attributes that will make us propel forward in this area for example.
Building the batteries associated with vehicles that are electric vehicles that energy storage that's a niche for us.
We've got more miles of shoreline.
Than any state in the country other than Alaska we have more miles of shoreline in California more than Florida you might be surprised.
What does that do for us it means that we have a lot of wind off of the Great Lakes.
We can manufacture the wind but we can also manufacture the wind turbines we've got a huge infrastructure associated with.
Manufacturing and transporting large manufactured goods so -- -- gonna use that as well novels auto suppliers that are currently manufacturing now for the auto industry.
Could also diversify and make sure that they manufacture components for wind.
We also have the largest amount -- publicly owned forest land in the country in Michigan so conversion to biofuels from.
Forest and pulp and paper industry waste is an opportunity.
-- as well.
I'm looking at all of those plans and I think they sound terrific and it's exactly what I think anybody who's not a resident of Michigan and who knows that billions of stimulus will be going to your state would feel.
So much better about of looking at that that he can't ignore the auto industry what do you think about the plans right now and how they are progressing we've given.
Billions to both General Motors and Chrysler of course it's a drop in the ocean -- like to remind my viewers to considering what AIG has gotten.
But that's a different story how do you think this is progressing and do you think the -- pull back from the brink or are we just staving off the inevitable and that is a bankruptcy of one or both of those companies.
I think there needs to be a global solution for this and I do think there needs to be -- does not give this is alone.
That they they have to be able to be stabilized if America frankly Liz wants to have energy independence.
You've got to have an audible motive industry that gets you independent of foreign oil the only way you do that is by investing in companies that will provided the technology.
To be free of gasoline or oil and that is what the auto industry in America is doing right now that's why -- talk about.
The electric vehicle and that technology in the investment that the Obama administration has made.
Even of the Recovery Act in battery technology.
We believe who this is the place Michigan the place where that ought to happen because -- that the workforce and -- and the associated with -- but I do think that with respect to the auto task force.
It is clear that they have indicated they are believed they believe that there should be a viable domestic auto industry.
And that that industry needs to be able to get through this rough period of time.
Clearly we've got to create demand for large consumer products like automobiles how that is done what happens how do we get from here to there.
The bottom line is that we have to have an industry not just Chrysler and not just General Motors but the supply chain -- well.
We have to have an industry that leads us to -- being a nation that manufactures.
The automobile and makes us energy independent governor great leaders and great company leaders always.
Prepare for the worst they do not wish for it.
But at eleven point 6% unemployment in your state we know that domino effect that would happen if one of these companies went under or both.
It out -- you look at this and you say are we ready if the worst happens.
Well there is no doubt about it that it would be an economic tsunami of the likes of which we've never seen him -- we're at eleven point 6% unemployment now because the auto industry has spent.
Restructuring and for a hundred years we've been the focus of that.
You wanna see that roll across the country -- allow one or both of these companies to go into bankruptcy with no way out.
And that would be the effect on the -- nation's economy this is different event.
AIG this is different because we need to have an industry that -- this is the backbone.
Of the manufacturing sector we want national security and economic security this is that exists -- We yet we are preparing for everything.
But we are not gonna buy into the fact that we're gonna lose one of these automotive companies we believe very strongly in the Obama's -- Obama administration's promises that it's important to have a domestic auto industry but let me just say one other thing -- -- is that we have to deal regardless of what happens between now and the time that industry is viable.
We have to deal as a nation with the human fallout -- human capital because regardless of what happens there will be continued job losses that we've lost in Michigan.
All over 400000.
Jobs largely related to manufacturing and automotive since the -- -- about -- the year 2000.
That is the human need here is enormous and that's -- this Recovery Act is important.
But it's also important to invest in the retraining of these workers so they can have the dignity of a second career.
All right just a quick up.
We'll answer here possible on the situation with all the foreclosed homes in Michigan we know that is obviously a very serious problem what can be done about -- Do you ever believe it just letting the free market work because we're seeing in the New York Times business section people buying these houses now.
And they're starting to move them around I mean it's the free market at work.
And that's great that's one certainly component of -- I'm a believer in the free market too but obviously there are times -- like the crisis we're in where the free market has not.
-- been able to address the human need to think the foreclosure plan that the Obama administration has put out -- we see the final.
It's tweaks of that I think it's going to be very helpful for us and Michigan but not just for us for.
States all across the country that are experiencing this huge devastation in communities because of foreclosures while Jennifer -- home Michigan governor we wish you the best of luck you've got a friend in me when it comes to Michigan -- you know.
I look at all of this situation is absolutely -- -- how I didn't need to bring your show Michigan what we wanted to do what town hall there because we think that the story so much greater than just why are we bailing out auto workers it's so much bigger than that and we get that -- come thank you for the invitation I appreciate -- thanks -- governor Graham home when.
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