Correcting the Record

For your readers who care about accuracy, I wish to set the record straight on a number of factual errors in this posting. I have had a career at General Motors for thirty years, but I do not lobby for the company and have not done so during my 27 year marriage to John Dingell. I made this decision at the outset that this would not be a career path I would pursue. I worked for GM before I met my husband and I have stayed here so no one could ever say I was hired because of who I married.

The rest of the article reflects the cynicism that plagues Washington today and quite frankly reflects what I believe: that some in this town would rather pontificate than get any real work done. I have often commented to my friends that because I am married to a politician, I feel like I am suppose to have no brain and I mostly refrain from talking or commenting on any environmental or energy issue because it can somehow be misconstrued. However, this posting is filled with mistakes, leaves me no choice but to say what I believe before I disappear again into the silent spouse role.

It was unexpected when I was asked to comment on global warming at dinner this week at the Clinton Global Initiative, and I again observed that I am used to not talking about this subject. Nonetheless, I said I thought we are at a crossroads, and that America must be at the forefront of change. The time is now to enact legislation that would begin to address these problems. I also said that I thought there were people who claimed they wanted things to happen, but spent more time causing problems and putting up roadblocks than working toward real solutions. I also said that we must have real action in this Congress and there are people in the room that could navigate the naysayers and make it happen. In addition, I commented while I don't talk about CAFE, it needs to be addressed and acted upon because it has become too easy to focus exclusively on CAFE at the expense of so many other issues that require real and urgent action now and could achieve meaningful progress toward reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gases.

The solutions to these issues are complex and multi-faceted and there are far better minds than mine to figure out how you get there, but let me be very clear on where I am as an American citizen who cares about this country, the world and the future: the time is now to act. To do nothing is unacceptable and yet there are people on both sides who would choose that option. I hope that those who really care will work together to get something done now that begins the path to permanent and real change that will result in a cleaner environment, energy independence and a healthy economy.

And, since I won't allow myself to pontificate on this subject again for a long time, let me also say I deeply resent those that take cheap shots at my husband (and believe me I don't always agree with him on a number of subjects) but his love of the environment and his long history of action and not just words shows his commitment to this issue. He wrote most of the major pieces of original environmental legislation when it was not popular, particularly in his own home town, and was the original author of CAFE legislation. I have learned that my impatience and drive for immediate action sometimes doesn't result in the outcome I would have hoped; but rather it is the person who has been building consensus among multiple stakeholders for a long time who may actually be one of the few people who can actually get something done now.