"Instead of President Obama's doomed strategy of creating jobs that are good for the environment, we need a strategy to create an environment that is good for jobs."

Whatever you think of Mitt Romney's quest for the GOP presidential nomination, one must admit that he and his speech writers turned a nice phrase in an Orange County Register op/ed earlier this week quoted in the headline. Romney's op/ed is excoriating federal green car loans amounting to $1 billion to two electric car manufacturers, Fisker Automotive and Tesla. As Romney writes

The Obama administration has shoveled $1 billion out the door to two California-based electric car manufacturers. Fisker Automotive got a $529 million loan from the Department of Energy; Tesla got $465 million. President Obama has hailed such subsidies as a "historic opportunity to ensure that the next generation of fuel-efficient cars and trucks are made in America."

Alas, like Solyndra, these loans are turning out to be historic opportunities to line the pockets of major campaign fundraisers. Fisker investors, including Al Gore himself, have donated more than $1 million to political campaigns – primarily Democrats. Tesla, for its part, has financial backing from a fundraiser who bundled hundreds of thousands of dollars for the President's campaign; Tesla's CEO is also a major Democratic donor who has poured money into Obama's campaign coffers.

Tesla's next vehicle is expected to list for $57,400. Fisker's car, already a year behind schedule, will cost $97,000. "We have a history of losses and we expect significant increases in our costs and expenses to result in continuing losses for at least the foreseeable future," says Tesla's most recent quarterly filing.

And neither firm has created many jobs. So far, approximately 100 workers are employed by Fisker in Wilmington, Del., while an additional 500 are actually assembling the cars in Finland. Tesla's record is only slightly better. Even these few jobs may be illusory: studies of Europe's green job experiments have found that each new green job destroys several other jobs elsewhere in the economy.

As it happens, Americans already have the opportunity to buy a highly subsidized green electric car, the Chevy Volt. How's that working out? Not all that well according to Wired.com

General Motors has repeatedly claimed a sales target for 2011 of 10,000 units for the plug-in hybrid Chevy Volt sedan. But, nine months into the year, they’ve only shipped 3,895 off the lot. In fact, in September sales numbers, released an hour ago, GM sold only 723 Volts.

Americans aren't buying Volts even with a $7,500 federal tax credit deal sweetener. The Daily Caller observes

There are 3,370 Volts sitting in auto lots around the country, up from 2,600 on Oct. 3, according to cars.com, one of the nation’s largest automotive classified sites.

The Chevy Volt was to be a centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s green technology industrial revolution, and of his 2012 re-election campaign.

It, and similar green technology products, were expected to employ up to two million people by 2010, according to Obama’s economic advisers. The electric car boosters at the Department of Energy, for example, predicted production of up to 120,000 Volts per year from 2012 onwards, according to a Feb. 2011 update of the DOE’s ambitious report, “One Million Electric Vehicles By 2015.”

The Daily Caller adds: 

The car is now being promoted by GM as a ‘loss-leader,’ an experiment that will goose future sales of other cars by boosting the brand. “It is an assertion of leadership — there is nothing else like it on the road,” said company spokesman Greg Martin. By pushing ahead with the car, and using it to help develop a wide variety of alternative power plants, “we’re exercising some vision and leadership that people have accused of of not exercising in the past,” he said. 

The GM spokesman's argument brings to mind the quip cited today in the New York Times by Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.) made at a recent hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee when he ...

... compared the benefits of solar power to the Tennessee farmer who drives into Alabama to buy watermelons for a dollar each and resells them at home for 75 cents.

“He does this a few times, and clearly he isn’t making a profit,” Mr. DesJarlais said. “And he comes to the conclusion that he needs a bigger truck.”

Evidently this works for electric cars too. Sadly, this is what crony capitalism looks like. 

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  • Kristen||

    Nissan sold double that number of their Leaf. Maybe it's just that Chevy is a shitty company.

  • ||

    nah...can't be. Govt just haven't spent enough on cranking out Volts or come up with enough bribes, I mean tax credits, to convince you to buy one.

  • Tman||

    Even if Nissan sold 50,000 Leafs that wouldn't even come close to a piddling market share. Around 10 MILLION new cars were sold in the US last year.

    The pathetic bar that GM had of 10,000 Volts sold was anemic by any standard, and they haven't even come close to that. The entire operation is a complete joke and an non-starter for any type of fleet management.

    Good thing we didn't bail out GM with billions of tax payer dollars because the amount of money GM loses making these shitboxes means that they are accelerating their inevitable fall.

    Yep, good thing.

  • Brandon||

    GM's original goal was 50,000. When they had orders for like 17 in January, they "adjusted" their "projections."

  • ||

    So, what your saying is, that GM can't even adjust their projections properly.

  • Tman||

    I still can't believe that GM -who has one of the WORST (I'm serious, go ask an auto tech- THE WORST)reputations for reliability in terms of their electrical systems- was going to try and convince people to buy an ELECTRIC car from them.

    That's like asking people to buy life insurance from Enron.

  • Hindenburg Inc.||

    Are you interested in our new line of Hydrogen fuel cells?

  • Kristen||

    Nissan is also able to wait out the market, much like Toyota and Honda did when the hybrids first made their appearance. Chevy would rather just have their pet Obama and Congress artificially "create" a market, or pay GM as if a market existed.

  • Tman||

    Whenever I hear about the Volt all I can think about is the Homer.

  • ||

    Alas, like Solyndra, these loans are turning out to be historic opportunities to line the pockets of major campaign fundraisers.

    This is literally the basis for everything Obama does. That, and power for its own sake.

    Everyone who screamed "Chicago machine" about Obama before he was elected--you were right. I didn't necessarily think you were wrong, but you need to be given credit for being 100% correct. Even if you were doing because you're a TEAM RED douchebag, you were still 100% correct.

  • Russ 2000||

    It really wasn't even "Chicago Machine" that had to convince anyone. The man was a community activist in a community he wouldn't stoop to live in. That's all one needed to know.

    He wasn't schooled by the Chicago Machine, the two bastions of dishonesty just naturally found each other.

  • ||

    the two bastions of dishonesty just naturally found each other.

    I can't wait for Hollywood's adaptation of this heartwarming tale.

  • Mainer||

    "Everyone who screamed "Chicago machine" about Obama before he was elected--you were right."

    Thank you.

    Seriously, I told my friends that "reformer from Chicago" was an oxymoron if there ever was one.

  • Gray Ghost||

    Seriously, I told my friends that "reformer from Chicago" was an oxymoron if there ever was one.

    And, if your friends and co-workers were anything like mine, they went glassy-eyed for a few seconds and then completely ignored what you had just said. I've never before seen such willful blindness from people about a political candidate.

  • Kristen||

    The sad thing is, liberals who are actually from Chicago eat this shit up. I had an acquaintance who was a professor and author - by all accounts a nice lady, thoughtful, etc. - but was just creaming herself over Obama. How could she be so blind to his Chicago-style back-slapping politicking? People see what they wanna see...

  • Joe M||

    How much of a crony capitalist is Romney? We know Perry has already done similar things in Texas, but I'm not sure how much Romney has participated in this type of thing, from either side.

  • Old Mexican||

    General Motors has repeatedly claimed a sales target for 2011 of 10,000 units for the plug-in hybrid Chevy Volt sedan. But, nine months into the year, they’ve only shipped 3,895 off the lot. In fact, in September sales numbers, released an hour ago, GM sold only 723 Volts.


    Those should be clear Edsel-like numbers. It shoudl be clear for even the staunchest supporter green-initiatives that the push to put this car in the market is driven not by economics but by something more emotional, like pride, or stupidity.

  • Almanian||

    At least Edsel's are worth something now as collector cars. That shitbox Volt will be filling landfills across the nation shortly. Enjoy the leeching from the batteries, suckers...

  • ||

    Nah, there are plenty of people (myself included) who would buy the Volt if the price weren't so high. If it gets cheaper than the Prius, for instance, it will sell decently (though GM would take a huge loss).

  • ||

    That shitbox Volt will be filling landfills across the nation shortly.

    Fun Fact: The very same landfills containing E.T. The Game for the 2600.

  • Lord Humungus||

    Halo cars are usually sports-cars or something of that nature. Even the not-so-great Chevy SSR had some
    http://www.gminsidenews.com/fo.....ales-6618/

    Maybe the Prius does too, but I think Toyota beat Chevy/GM to the punch for being considered "the Green Car Company."

  • ||

    LOL, they can't find 10,000 enlightened liberals in the entire country?

  • ||

    the title misses the point. Obama is not interested in the environment; he's interested in sounding like he cares about it for two reasons: one is to satisfy a constituency, the other is the purposeful denigration of the US economy. There is no such thing as a "green economy" and even all these Ivy League hyper-educated folks in DC know that. But, that's not the point. Lowering the US to European levels, if not worse, IS the point.

    The strategy is typical liberalism - sell the issue as some moral imperative, in this case "saving the planet", and counting on people to either be too busy or too lazy to research it for themselves. Govt expands its power since the private sector has figured out there is no money to be made in this, and we are where we are.

  • ||

    It's like China spending money on green window dressing while continuing to pollute to such an extent that one could rationally suspect that they'd been paid to anti-terraform the Earth by an alien species.

  • ||

    and predictably, the left makes hay of China's green spending - "we're falling behind", "we won't be #1" - but say nothing of the coal-fired plants going up by the day. Again, liberalism relies on the uninformed and un-curious.

  • squarooticus||

    Again, liberalismmainstream politics relies on the uninformed and un-curious.


    FYP.

  • Almanian||

    If you make jobs "environmentally friendly", then only environmentalists will....have....jobs.

    Or something.

  • Almanian||

    Oh, almost forgot - also, "we're ALL environmentalists now..."

  • all capitalism = cronyism||

    Anybody using the term "crony capitalism" is in as much intellectual denial about how their religio-economic system works as a Communist who pins the failures of communism on "state capitalism."

    Capitalism and Communism are both failures because they both do the same thing: concentrate power and wealth to the few.

    It's one of the defining traits of civilization.

    Primary Criteria

    1. Settlement of cities of 5,000 or more people.
    2. Full-time labor specialization.
    3. Concentration of surplus.
    4. Class structure.
    5. State-level political organization.

    The never attained Capitalism and Communism systems are like the never attained animated dead people try to conjure with magic.

    Zombie economics.

  • Mikheil||

    Wrong capitalism cannot be achieved so long as there is a state watching/guiding it

  • BakedPenguin||

    It's a troll, Mikheil.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Just wait until it comes out that the Obama Admin got the idea for the Volt from Massachusetts.

  • ||

    Excellent.

  • Id||

    I think everyone is missing the very important distinction in this case, which makes all the difference: I *want* a Tesla.

    Thank you for you time.

  • ||

    GM Engineer: "Hey, we've got this gas engine in here. Why don't we use it to recharge the batteries?"

    Federal automotive enegineer: "That's not an engine. It's a range extender."

    GM: OK, how about if we use the range extender to recharge the batteries?

    FAE: No. Then it would be a hybrid, not a plug in. The executive order clearly calls for a plug-in.

    GM: But why plug it in when you have an energy source built right into the car?

    FAE: R-A-A-A-nge extender

    GM: ::sigh::

  • ||

    But why plug it in when you have an energy source built right into the car?

    Because the energy source that you use when you plug it in is more efficient and less polluting than the car's gas engine, and doesn't add to the car's weight.

  • ||

    Because the energy source that you use when you plug it in is more efficient and less polluting than the car's gas engine

    Citation Needed.

    and doesn't add to the car's weight

    benefit is probably cancelled out by transmission losses.

  • ||

    Citation Needed.

    LOL. Switch your house to run off of a gasoline-powered generator rather than the grid and see how much money you save.

    benefit is probably cancelled out by transmission losses.

    Transmission losses in the grid are dwarfed by the cost of distributing gasoline. You may not be aware that DC lost the war of the currents.

  • ||

    LOL. Electricity is high grade energy, great for running appliances and lighting, not so efficient for turning back into mechanical energy. If all you did at your house was turn a crank you'd be better off doing it with a gasoline powered motor, you know like a car engine.

    I do agree that transmission losses are quite low, that's a pretty common canard.

  • ||

    and doesn't add to the car's weight.

    The engine, also known as a power source, is already present in the car, as is its mass. Error.

  • ||

    I guess gasoline is made of photons and neutrinos?

  • ||

    Are you being deliberately obtuse?

    Pick one: All electric (all but useless), ICE powered, diesel-electric or hybrid.

    Having a electric motor AND an gasoline engine that never interact with one another and only drive the wheels independently is moronic. Something only a politician could design.

  • Mainer||

    "Are you being deliberately obtuse?"

    Maaaaaybe.

  • ||

    You seem to be neglecting that the system to have them interact is going to cost money and require maintenance. It's not like you just solder a wire onto the gas engine.

    The fact that additional money was not put into the vehicle to fit your use case does not make it "moronic".

  • ||

    That must be why this car was years over deadline and the true cost is over $70,000 to build, while Toyota keeps cranking out Priuses at a 1/3 of the price.

  • ||

    And you might want to ask, "If the Volt is fucking fabulous, why is no car company, other than the one owned by the gummint, building this type of design?"

  • ||

    And of course, you were originally proposing that there should be no plug in capability. ("Why plug it in...")

    A jester aiming to mock your position could just as easily posit an engineer saying, "why have the gas engine recharge the battery when you have access to an ubiquitous, cheaper, more efficient power source if you install a plug in system?"

  • ||

    A jester aiming to mock your position could just as easily posit an engineer saying, "why have the gas engine recharge the battery when you have access to an ubiquitous, cheaper, more efficient power source if you install a plug in system?"

    A mongoloid might wonder why you're putting a gas engine in it in the first place, if an electric vehicle is you goal.

  • ||

    President Obama has hailed such subsidies as a "historic opportunity to ensure that the next generation of fuel-efficient cars and trucks are made in America."

    What a fucking dumbass.

  • ||

    Hello and welcome to 2009.

  • Restoras||

    Threadjack:

    Are you ready for some armageddon?!?!

  • ||

    There are 3,370 Volts sitting in auto lots around the country, up from 2,600 on Oct. 3, according to cars.com, one of the nation’s largest automotive classified sites.

    I predict these cars will soon appear in the Hertz fleet.

  • Almanian||

    Working in the auto bidness, I can tell that auto companies love NOTHING more than an increasing days-supply of autos sitting in lots, rotting.

    Wait, no...

  • ||

    There are 3,370 Volts....

    Oooooo, go on,

    sitting in auto lots around the country

    awwwww, THAT kind of Volt. Lame.

  • ||

    The Volt is just ridiculous. I'm in the market for a replacement for my Echo and that was one of the first ones I looked at when I heard about the tax credit. Doesn't matter though when even with the credit it's still more expensive than the Prius.

  • ||

    my Echo

    Why doesn't it surprise me that you drive that ugly, little rattlebox?

    Before you say it, I like the idea of driving a small beater to work and saving the nice car for the weekend. My preference would be for a Honda Fit or a Mini S. But, an Echo? Please turn in your genitalia, sir.

  • ||

    As explained below, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the Echo. Especially mine, which has racing stripes along the side as a kind of joke.

  • ||

    *ahem* Your genitalia, sir. You shant be needing them.

  • ||

    Sorry, I know you want to lick them, but you have to wait your turn.

  • ||

    :::sigh::: Fine. I'll wait until you're done.

  • Brandon||

    You bought an Echo? We used to get a $200 bonus for selling one of those. You're seriously considering another Toyota after that?

  • ||

    12 years and 200,000+ miles later and still running well and getting close to 40 mpg?

    Yeah, you bet I will.

  • Brandon||

    Fair enough. But you know it's just a corolla with less room, right?

  • Russ 2000||

    I worked at a building with a TSA training office. There were about 8 employees there not counting trainees. And there were about 16 government cars (GM's and Chryslers only, no Fords nor foreign makes) in the parking lot, most of which were never moved for weeks. (The piled up snow on them was the dead giveaway of how seldom used the cars were.) I predict they will go to government offices before they go to Hertz.

    Actually, I expect them to be dumped in the ocean in a couple years, this has been gov't S.O.P. for 60 years

  • ||

    there are plenty of people (myself included) who would buy the Volt if the price weren't so high.

    Fuck off, slaver.

  • ||

    I predict they will go to government offices before they go to Hertz.

    I suspect you're right.

    But maybe they'll try to frame it as a, "Once you see how AWESOME these cars are, you'll want to rush down to your friendly neighborhood Chevy dealer and buy one for your very own!" marketing program.

  • Mainer||

    Here's the stupidity. Cars have been around for over 100 years. The early technology was gas, diesel, steam or electric. Gas and diesel won. Electric cars lost out because of limited range, weight, and long time to recharge the batteries. In other words, the exact same fucking issues that be-devil electric cars today, a century later.

    In some way this liberal fascination with electric cars is of a piece with their love of windmills and trains.

  • ||

    You forgot dirt-cheap gas and electricity being only sporadically available outside cities back when gas and diesel won.

    Those conditions are no longer present. While I certainly think the market should decide, you should be open to the market making different decisions when conditions change rather than assuming the tech that won out 100 years ago will win out today.

  • GW||

    Agreed, but even when sold at below market prices, no one wants them, for the exact reasons cited.

  • Mainer||

    Agreed, people (aka markets)will make different decisions as conditions change. The fact is conditions Haven't changed in the last century. And you've added another item to my list: limited availability of charging stations outside major cities. Electric vehicles are still trying to overcome the exact same limitations they had 100 years ago. The big technology break that will vault electric cars into the mainstream has always just around the corner.

  • Mainer||

    Rephrase: proponents of electric vehicles have been trying and failing for a Century to overcome the exact same set of limitations. (oh, another one...degraded performance in cold weather.) No amount of government subsidy can change that reality.

  • Mikheil||

    Thats fine so long as it's not the government changing the conditions

  • ||

    And you've added another item to my list: limited availability of charging stations outside major cities.

    Charging stations would require only a small investment to install at any gas station (or anywhere else for that matter). If electric cars start catching on in cities, rural stations will start installing them.

    Now, natural gas cars are another story entirely.

  • ||

    If electric cars start catching on in cities, rural stations will start installing them.

    Suburban stations? Sure.

    Rural stations? Which can be further apart than the usable range of an electric car? I doubt it.

    I'll be driving to Austin from West Texas on Friday. I'll try to keep track of how far apart the gas stations are, but based on previous drives, until I get to the Austin suburbs, they will be at least 30 miles apart.

  • ||

    That would be a fun drive in an electric.

    Drive 100 miles (maybe). Stop. Recharge for a minimum of 30 minutes, IF they have a 240 volt charger (8 hours otherwise). Drive. Stop. Recharge.

    You should get there by next July.

  • ||

    Yeah, there will be some trips you couldn't make with a pure electric car (hence the range extension on the Volt). But that's not everyone's use case.

    No one says the Corolla is worthless because it can't tow a trailer.

  • ||

    No one says the Corolla is worthless because it can't tow a trailer.

    If I have a trailer to tow, it is.

    I have one car now, because I can't afford the hair shirt of a Gaiamobile and a car that actually offers utility and practicality beyond going to the grocery store.

    As I said above, I'd love a commuter beater and a nice car to drive other times, but I'm too poor at the moment.

  • GW||

    Yes, but natural gas is a REALLY good idea, and the cars can be bifuel (run on CNG or gasoline) so that you'll never have to worry about not finding a CNG fueling station.

  • ||

  • ||

    Fun fact(oid): The first fatal auto accident involved an electric car.

  • dummy||

    Detroit should be the biggest proponent of sound money, less regulation and allowing energy exploration.

    Until an they make an electric car that will help you get laid and be affordable for the average young person making 30,000 a year, they aren't going to sell very well. Baby boomers should realize this better than anyone (the cost of brand new muscle cars were in reach for them as teenagers).

  • Canman||

    "studies of Europe's green job experiments have found that each new green job destroys several other jobs elsewhere in the economy"

    If the feds hav'ta copy some green euro policies, they oughta look at France's nuke plants.

  • Spoonman.||

    Amusingly, if we want electric cars we absolutely need fracking.

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    hello,welcome to www.luckygrip. com,i hope everyone will more like them because of there have more nice top goods and cheaper price in there,thanks

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