The UC Davis Institute he heads took in millions from auto and oil companies in the years prior to his appointment by Gov Schwarzenegger. At last month's Board Meet, Sperling spearheaded a proposal to cut the number of zero emission vehicles required by the ZEV program. Spirling has been a major proponent, along with the automakers and oil companies, of shifting the program's emphasis from near-term battery electric cars to decades-away hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. A one-time supporter of electric cars, he says in the article,
"I lost funding [for the institute] from the Detroit car companies for many years, and I realized I should not be taking those policy positions unless it was really well-grounded," he said.