• Apr 2nd 2009 at 8:16PM
  • 79
In an attempt to stay politically neutral, we're going to stop short of offering opinions about Rush Limbaugh's recent statements regarding hybrid automobiles and the intent of automakers like Ford and Honda to "please politicians overseeing the industry's multibillion-dollar bailout." What we will say, though, is that Limbaugh's a little off when he suggests that hybrid vehicles are entirely unwanted. So sayeth Rush:
Nobody's buying 'em. Nobody wants them! The manufacturers are making them in droves to satisfy Obama! Sorry for yelling. Nobody wants them!
While it's true that hybrid vehicle sales tend to rise and fall with the ebb and flow of fuel prices, which are currently down from the record highs from a year ago, Edmunds' Green Car Advisor points out that 1.3 million hybrid vehicles have been sold in America since 1999, the first year the fuel-saving vehicles entered the market. Obviously, there are more than a few people out there who want to cut down on their fuel usage. Further, these hybrid vehicle programs have been in development since well before President Obama was elected.

Limbaugh further argues that politicians have killed the auto industry. There may be a measure of truth to that point, but there's certainly a number of other factors that have attributed a great deal to the current woes being felt by all automakers the world over.

As always, your mileage may vary. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section.

[Source: Rush Limbaugh via Green Car Advisor]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      I hope AutoBlogGreen won't lend any more space to irrelevant people as this fellow. This is not interesting and completely irrelevant.

      • 6 Years Ago
      Set aside the larger context of his other views; you have to admit he has a point here.

      Hybrids are EXPENSIVE. Adding hybrid capacity to any vehicle model adds THOUSANDS to its cost. Aside from a handful of dedicated greens and a significant number seeking to show off their trendiness and wealth, people only bought them in sheer desperation when gasoline prices went through the roof.

      When they came back down, so did hybrid sales.

      Where Limbaugh and most other conservatives are wrong is their endorsement of drilling as the solution.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Dear Rush,

      [ This message has been edited. Please, folks, keep it decent around here. Sheesh ]
      • 6 Years Ago
      There are a LOT of republicans who drive priuses. One I personally know was (or is?) the president of the UC Davis republican group. Comments liek this show he doesnt' even understand his own audience.
      • 6 Years Ago
      We all konw Rush is a tool, no need to get angry over it.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Everyone chill, the reason this guy keeps saying things like this is to simply piss off people like you. He is searching right now for all the bad reviews, insults and fact checks, he feeds off of them. He probably does not even believe his own statements, his game is to piss you off and he is succeeding. If you ignore him he will go away. He sells ads by being controversial. Seriously, there have been over 1 million hybrids sold, he knows that, and he also knows that that is over one million people he can piss off to bring attention to his show. How else would he get attention on green news sites?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wow, I mean WOW!!! you Rush haters never fail to prove him correct. You guys just don't get it. the 1.3 million cars sold so far isn't a "Mandate" that people want them. As one person correctly pointed out that's not even a drop in the bucket next to the total amount of cars sold. Yet all you can argue about is that they were sold as a loss. So what?

      Yes, Rush has harped on the US being dependent on foreign oil. And his solution offered is to supplement the demand with domestic sources. If you don't like it, fine so be it. But you better be prepared to prove to me that there are viable, practical and economically feasable alternatives! Show me a vehicle that is comparable to a gasoline powered vehicle as far as price, range and cost of operation and I'll buy it. One problem though, they don't quite exist yet! So now what?

      Diesels are out there, but the green crowd allowed themselves to be hamstrung by their own people who don't like the emissions. So now what?

      As far as Wind and Solar power to generate electricity as opposed to Coal, can you green guys tell me where we're going to put these things? Last time I checked, a Democrat Senator from California blocked millions of acres of property that would've been perfect for them. So now what?

      The problem I see is that to many people here think that if you either stomp your feet in a tantrum or tap your heels three times, these alternatives will magically appear. It takes time, until then we're going to need Oil, Coal and Natural Gas.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I agree with you on the alternative energy front. People can't have their cake and eat it too these things take up space, cost a lot of money, and are ugly to look at.

        My main point is that it would be preferable to begin to wean ourselves off oil starting now instead of waiting to the last minute. I would have no problem with fueling cars with natural gas, but I'm aware that this too will run out some day. I fully agree with you that alternatives are more expensive at this point. I just think that more expensive electricity is preferable to resource wars. I'm all in favor of developing our own domestic resources. I just fear that we don't have the time and capital to do so and continue with our current per capita energy use rate.

        At this point reducing our per capita energy consumption should be our number one priority. If we reduce our consumption, develop new domestic energy that is profitable, and phase in alternative energy sources as they become economically competitive, we stand the best chance of energy independence. While I doubt we could be energy independent with our current rate of energy use per capita, I bet we could if we used half of the energy that we do now.
        • 6 Years Ago
        There is no "Hypothetical" about it Chad. There are massive amounts of Oil that is within reach of the United States and we are sitting by idly as China sets up drilling operations in the Gulf and Russia tries to declare most of the North Pole as part of Russia. Pretty aggressive actions to obtain something that "isn't there" as many would say.

        Chris, I don't know, how about sticking to arguing facts? Dodge made that many Neons within a few years of introducing the model. Is that a mandate? It must be according to your standard. Hybrids were produced at a loss by Toyota and Honda that they were produced in limited numbers. And no, hybrids or lack of them are not the reason why GM and Chrysler are on life support. Chrysler and GM put all their focus on the trucks and SUV's that people were buying at the time and let the smaller cars lanquish to the point that no one wanted them. Ford was the only one that was wise enough NOT to do this.

        "The simplistic "drill baby drill" solution promoted by Rush and the neocons conveniently ignores reality".

        No it doesn't, it's a reality that you make up to suit your point of view. Right now, Oil exploration in the US is deliberately hamstrung by EPA regulations to the point that it is more costly to obtain Oil domestically than it is to import it. Hence, that is why it gets imported. Cripes, even Canada and their strict enviromental rules, have no qualms about searching for and obtaining their own sources of oil from within. All they have to do is look at us and see how bad it can be when you become dependent on someone else for it.

        "There must be plenty of places to put wind and solar, as California gets 20% of its electricity from Wind and Solar and Geothermal, with more coming online every month, and only 20.1% from Coal"

        Not when you have NIMBY senators like Feinstein and to the east, Kennedy and Kerry. Get real, millions of desert acres to put up all the solar panels or wind generators you want. All of it blocked by Feinstein. Why!?

        I can't argue with your math though. I'm sure that California gets 20% from alternatives and only 20% from Coal. Is that why they have rolling brownouts every summer?

        • 6 Years Ago
        If 1.3 million "nobodies" isn't a mandate, then Hummers have even less of a "mandate", as the prius has outsold the entire Hummer line every year that they've both been on the market!

        Of course, from Limbaug's viewpoint, anyone who isn't a devoted dittohead and doesn't agree with his every holy word must be a "nobody". Curious thing is, some of his "dittoheads" have heard him rail against the oil sheiks, so they've cut down on gasoline consumption, some have even purchased hybrids to do just that. Will they notice that Limbaugh has just called them "nobodies"? Or will they just gloss over the implied insult, just like they've glossed over his drug problem?

        Hybrids aren't sold at a loss, that's why Toyota has been expanding hybrid production and keep introducing new hybrid models. The biggest sellers of hybrids, Toyota and Honda, were making record profits while hybrid-less GM and Chrysler were suffering record losses. Even in Detroit, the success of the Ford Escape hybrid meant the difference between Ford not needing a bailout, and GM needing billions.

        The simplistic "drill baby drill" solution promoted by Rush and the neocons conveniently ignores reality. The Hibbert peak passed in the mid 70's, with US production declining ever since even as demand and prices rose to record levels. The reason is that the most productive oil wells have been drained nearly dry, wells that once were gushers now produce just a few barrels a day, and new oil wells are in smaller, deeper reservoirs in less porous rock. Even the Alaska North Slope oil fields couldn't halt the decline in domestic production, we cannot drill our way out of this problem.

        There must be plenty of places to put wind and solar, as California gets 20% of its electricity from Wind and Solar and Geothermal, with more coming online every month, and only 20.1% from Coal.
        • 6 Years Ago
        "There is no "Hypothetical" about it Chad. There are massive amounts of Oil that is within reach of the United States."

        And is this cheap easy to get oil or only hard to get, profitable only at $100 a barrel oil?

        At our current rate of use we use about 7.5 billion barrels of oil a year in the U.S., the world uses about 30 billion barrels of oil a year. If the world has one trillion barrels left this will only be about another 30 years of use. Even If the I double that to and say the world has 2 trillion barrels of oil left that only gives us about 60 years of oil left. This of course assumes that the world's rate of oil use doesn't increase. With China and India growing, this would be a poor assumption to make.

        If we continue with business as usual it will lead to:

        -sea-saw periods of high oil prices followed by economic decline, economic recovery, high oil prices, repeat

        -eventual oil scarcity

        • 6 Years Ago
        "Yes, Rush has harped on the US being dependent on foreign oil. And his solution offered is to supplement the demand with domestic sources."

        Okay, hypothetically speaking, what if we don't have enough domestic sources of oil?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Chad, go back and review my original posting. Did I say that alternatives didn't exist? No. I pointing out that alternatives are not capable of replacing conventional (Oil, Natural Gas etc.) sources of energy at the present time. I'd love an electric car. But I can't afford what's out there now, they don't have the range I need and don't work very well in cold climates. So what does that leave us? Yep, the "Evil" ICE.

        The other point I'm trying to point out is that for all these other wonderful alternatives there seems to be a deliberate effort by politicians to shut them down. The green crowd need to make up it's mind over the fact that if they want solar and wind power there are downsides of land use, noise and appearance. No one has given me an adequate and reasonable explanation as to why the millions of acres of desert in California was closed to placement of Solar panels in what has to be the most ideal place to put them. Or why the Pelosi led Congress shut the door on access to TRILLIONS of cubic feet of Natural Gas off the shores of the United States.

      • 6 Years Ago
      Most people do want more fuel efficient vehicles. Oil is going to get more expensive to produce. For now a highly diesel ICE hybrid could give us 75 MPG, Within a couple of years more or less an EV with a diesel kicker (which is essentially a hybrid) would do nicely. By 2099 AD they will have developed reasonably priced HFCVs. Rush is entitled to his opinion, but in this case he is just misjudging demand. It doesn't make sense for most people to pay a $5K premium for a hybrid. They need to drive the price down. When battery-ultracapacitor tech catches up, the ICEs will go to the landfill and most of us will be driving EVs. Then after a century or 2 they will be replaced by HFCVs.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "1.3 million hybrid vehicles have been sold in America since 1999".

      Gee, and OVER 150 MILLION vehicles were sold in just the US during that time. So yes, *in context* no one is buying hybrids. It was not ment to be an absolute statement.

      I've watched Bill Maher, Keith Oberman, and Rachel Madow (sp?). They are much more hateful, bitter, and angry than Rush will ever be. Rush is having too much fun.

      Yesterday I was listining to Rush's show during my lunch break and he said that if anyone wants to know what he said *in context* you just have to go to his website. His braodcast is transcribed. All of the media knows this but they continue to quote him out of context, either out of a political ax to grind or just to sell papers or get ratings. So if you want to argue against his point just go to rushlimbausgh.com, read the transcript and then you will know what he really said. Then feel free to argue against him if you wish.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Quote from the article ''Limbaugh further argues that politicians have killed the auto industry ''

      That's what i said and i repeat, The F&ckin% auto industry works for big oil and goverments and have let down consumers and citizens long time ago and are now living with tax money collected from consumers and citizens, while destroying the biosphere. Even some folks are trying to starve peoples by speculating on foods to burn it in toyota's, gm's, ford's, etc.

      They rejected hydrogen gas because it don't give money to nobody. I won't buy any gasoline cars or plugguable cars, never. I'll keep my neon till some mechanical shops sell me a hydrogen conversion kit to fix the main problem of my neon. I said fuel cost and pollution associated with gasoline. Hydrogen conversion kit can even give you farther range, up to 20 000 miles and 50% more power if the carburation system is well fitted and calibrated.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Gorr, there are plenty of outfits willing to sell you an onboard water electrolyzer to fit in your Neon. There are even outfits that will install it, for a fee. Go for it, if you want to spend your money. If you're a cheapskate or just on a tight budget, there is free info on how to do it yourself.

        But I'm afraid you're going to be disappointed, as it won't boost power no matter how the carburetor is adjusted, your Neon will never be a race car, you'll never get that kind of range you dream of, and your Neon certainly won't ever run on nothing but water.

        Gordo, its common for H2 enthusiasts to pretend that it will strike back at the oil companies, but somehow they overlook the enthusiasm shown by the oil companies, promoting hydrogen on their websites, and the membership lists for almost all H2 lobbyist and education (propaganda) groups include most of the major oil companies.
        • 6 Years Ago
        you wouldn't happen to like county music would you?
        • 6 Years Ago
        • 6 Years Ago
        Wow, it's all so clear now.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The oil industry profits from hydrogen. A lot. Do you even know where hydrogen fuel comes from???

        Really. Your comments are annoying everyone as they display a lot of ignorance.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Limbaugh represents the worst of the worst of America's bottom of the barrel.

      He promotes:

      Hatred against minorities, immigrants, blacks, atheists, non-Christians, or anyone who does not believe in the Republican mafia's propaganda, besides promoting environmental destruction ("The bible says we have the right to take anything we need from the earth")

      If I was religious, I might call him the reincarnation of Satan, but I won't go that far.
        • 6 Years Ago
        You seriously sound like a fool. Have you EVER actually listened to Rush Limbaugh? He says some outlandish things, but then again that's his job. Just like Keith Olbermann. You're a bigot...and you sound insane. Do you got that? All of you are bigots....You say he promotes hatred and yet you say you hate the man and want to "shoot this subhuman in the face"....don't you realize that only "subhumans" say things of that sort? And by the way...everything you say wreaks of irony, and this goes for everyone that's willing to act like a nutjob to promote a view - THERE'S ALWAYS SOMEONE ON YOUR "SIDE" SAYING THINGS THAT ARE JUST AS NUTTY. Can you believe there are people out there that actually BELIEVE Keith Olbermann? Or Bill Maher? These people say things that are on-par with what Rush says, just as prickish, just as "hateful" (have you seen Religulous?) Instead of carrying the air of intellectual prick why don't you REALLY analyze yourself and your beliefs? Who cares what Rush says? Tell the truth and people will listen...it doesn't have to hold hatred in the tone and it doesn't have to be a patronizing invective. Do you even understand the "Christian right"? Do you understand what you call "fundamentalists"? "Hatred against minorities, immigrants, blacks, atheists, non-Christians, or anyone who does not believe in the Republican mafia's propaganda, besides promoting environmental destruction ("The bible says we have the right to take anything we need from the earth")" - This is such an idiotic rant it's almost mind-numbing. I haven't heard Rush EVER SAY ANYTHING CLOSE TO THIS. You should take people's words for what they are instead of always filtering their words through your own worldview.
        • 6 Years Ago

        I am sorry, but Olbermann makes sense, Limbaugh does not. Anyone who finds entertaining value in listening to Limbaugh doesn't respect the world that surrounds them, its diversity or the seriousness of the issues we all face. Those people who like yourself embrace this narrow view, are setting themselves as a joke and nothing else.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Garrett, as a Christian, I am deeply saddened that a few extremists have been able to infiltrate the Christian community and brainwash them to a point where they support things that are adverse to Christianity.

        Rush Limbaugh is one of these manipulative agitators who takes advantage of naive people. God never encouraged us to own guns, he never said that homosexuality was evil, and he never said that America was the 'one nation under God', and yes Rush encourages environmental carelessness.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Limbaugh quote:

      "And so if people are violating the law by doing drugs, they ought to be accused and they ought to be convicted and they ought to be sent up," Limbaugh said on his short-lived television show on Oct. 5, 1995."

      Shortly later....on CBS News:

      -> Limbaugh also must submit to random drug tests and continue treatment for his admitted addiction to painkillers.

      ->Limbaugh was detained for more than three hours Monday at the airport after returning from a vacation in the Dominican Republic. Customs officials found the Viagra in his luggage but his name was not on the prescription.

      nuff said. The man is sick.

        • 6 Years Ago
        Not just sick, but a coward. He ordered his housekeeper to score him some more Oxycontin, he was too cowardly to go get it himself.

        One would have thought that such a scandalous revelation would mark the end for his career, but he and his dittohead followers just act as if it never happened.
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