• Apr 19, 2012
And you thought the right-wing attacks on plug-in cars was going to fade away. Not if Rush Limbaugh has anything to do with it (and he does). On his radio show yesterday, Limbaugh complained for many minutes about the evils of EVs. "There's nothing wrong with oil, there's nothing wrong with gasoline," he said. "We don't need saving from gasoline"

His argument isn't exactly coherent – he claims that somehow having plug-in vehicles reduces our options – but they sure were delivered passionately. Calling out Mr. Chevrolet Volt himself, Limbaugh said:

Bob, Mr. Lutz, the problem is not me. The problem is that the pro-electric car crowd are the people making this political. ... The electric car is not about saving the planet. The electric car is not about cleaner energy. The electric car is not about cleaner air. The electric car is about taking away choices from the American people about what they want to drive. The electric car is about bigger government.

Where to start?

How about by letting Lutz do the work? Speaking at the Hudson Institute earlier this week, Lutz laid out his arguments about why the Volt and plug-in technology are good ideas, all of which regular readers have heard before. You can hear them in full in the embedded video down below (Limbaugh's comments are available, too), but the gist is: they work, they save gas and they will get cheaper.

There was one thing Lutz said that is not common knowledge, though, would put to rest any the idea that the Volt is the "Obamacar" if it were. Lutz said that when GM and the Obama administration met during the company's bankruptcy proceedings, the government's recommendation was to kill the Volt program. That, of course, didn't happen.





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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 90 Comments
      Rick
      • 2 Years Ago
      Gotta say l am with Bob on this one, with US debt fast approaching $16 trillion both parties can't agree on anything to stop the US debt clock, every US taxpayer is saddled with $138,236 of government debt thats hushed up by racked up by both parties, the US is spending on imported oil is about to hit $500,000,000,000 according to the US debt clock. Chevy Volt is a great car awesome bit of technology, but the rather dull lacklustre styling puts me right off buying ever wanting to buy one. Why can't Chevy reverse engineer a nice RWD BMW 5 series mojo and add some Chevy E-REV knowhow, queues will be a mile long outside every Chevy dealer worldwide, gotta say l would buy one. When we get some of the practical good stuff like Via Motors Chevy Pick-Ups, Vans & SUV's l will definitely buy them so will a lot of other folk in the UK, sod the price.
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rick
        The Volt is a US designed car, built in the USA, that runs on ~100% USA generate electricity. People that bash it are not being patriots, they are being duped.
      mylexicon
      • 2 Years Ago
      Why would anyone have a problem with what Limbaugh says in this clip? He says the Volt and the government have been intertwined in inappropriate ways to the detriment of the American consumer. He is implying that more Americans should drive 10mpg vehicles (mainly b/c he doesn't acknowledge the trade deficit); however, liberals shouldn't take exception. The US Federal Government is probably one of the most loathsome "brands" in existence today, both abroad and in our own country. Maybe liberals don't agree with what Rush is implying, but decoupling hybrid vehicles from government agencies can't possibly be construed as a bad thing. If government never said another word about CAFE or green cars, and the clumsy demand subsidies were withdrawn or applied to all fuel-efficient cars at all price points (middle class subsidies), green car sales would increase. Both liberals and conservatives would get what they want, yes? Republicans don't have to deal with narrowly-focused, unjust demand-subsidies. Liberals don't have to deal with anemic increases in fleet fuel economy. Why do people suck at life? That's what I want to know.
        mylexicon
        • 2 Years Ago
        @mylexicon
        You are all paying for your lack of understanding in artificially low sales and artificially high political/social friction. When your death wish has subsided, I'll be happy to explain things.
          Chris M
          • 2 Years Ago
          @mylexicon
          When you start saying something that makes rational sense, we'll start listening.
        Marco Polo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @mylexicon
        @ mylexicon, I sorry to inform you that there isn't actually a prize for being more incompressible than Gorr. (Ezee and Grendal just made it up) ! Your post was nearly up to Gorr's standard, but Gorr's position as ABG eccentric is a tenure , so I'm sorry you wasted your time. Ezee, Grendal stop snickering,,,,,,
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Marco Polo
          Please stop sitting on Gorr!
      Peter Muller
      • 2 Years Ago
      Some years ago I visited the U.S. and had the unfirtunate opportunity to hear Lanbaugh on the radio,,, I dont, and I repeat, dont understand how ANYONE can be priovided airtime, or for that matter find sponsors to provide him airtime by being the epitomy of the grumpy uninformed old bigot that he cleary is.... even more fascinating.. why the heck do we even mention him... its more food for the mill.... what a fat fool...
        Nick
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Peter Muller
        That's unexplainable indeed. In Europe, crazy people are getting treatment, but in America, they are given a platform? And they have millions of followers? Unexplainable. Not a single word coming from this brain damaged, viagra popping pig of a man is sane.
        Ford Future
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Peter Muller
        You need to go to dinner with a Koch Brother, or the 20 other wacko rich that funds the Republican party. They're just as insane as Limbaugh. We rebelled against the crazy King George, and the right wing is going to have to rebel against their incompetent rich funders. See the problem? That's not going to happen.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Peter Muller
        I despise him too, but the people who listen to him already have their minds made up about what they think. I think he's dangerous and spreads misinformation but there is always the tricky business of how to silence him without running into first amendment issues as interpreted by our Supreme Court. He's not urging violence or using "fighting words," so there's not much the govt can do to silence him w/o become blatantly authoritarian.
      dmay
      • 2 Years Ago
      I can't believe that I'm becoming a fan of Bob Lutz. I guess an 80 year old billionaire is bound to start doing the right thing at the end of his life.
      kEiThZ
      • 2 Years Ago
      Whether Republicans like it or not, Rush Limbaugh is the voice of the party and more party members listen to him than they do to actual Republican politicians. He makes it patently obvious how ignorant the Republicans actually are. They hate American women. They hate balanced budgets. They hate public education and public health care. They hate American engineering. They hate technological solutions that reduce reliance on foreign oil. They hate government loans that save American jobs (GM). And they disdain government loans that create American jobs (Fisker). But they aren't the greater fools....that title goes to Americans who vote for them.
      kitman3
      • 2 Years Ago
      If you take the government subsidy $7,500 plus the amount that GM owes the tax payers still each volt costs about $250k. Now is that smart economics? Why should I or any body else be forced to subsidize some else's car? The supposed "free market" should determine winners and losers not the government. You guys also seem to forget what powers the "grid" and it's effect. Studies I have seen estimate a 27 year pay back on electrics and hybrids. I am all for alternative cars but the economics of these are do not do not come close to the supposed environmental benefits. In the USA, the air is much cleaner now - as anyone who was alive 40-50 years ago will tell you, especially around some of the bigger cities. This is due to several major environmental laws passed in the 1970's. And there are many many more cars on the road since the 1970's. Perhaps cars are really not causing the pollution the environmental lobbies would have you all believe?
        Ford Future
        • 2 Years Ago
        @kitman3
        kitman3 is the PERFECT example of the Mis-Informed Republican. Oil and Gas Subsidies are the Largest subsidies in the energy field, easily 10x Renewables. http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/Subsidies-For-Oil-Gas-Nuclear-vs.-Renewables/ So, Limbaugh a success, he's suckered his base. Just like the Republican Budgets are going to clobber the 99% Republican Base Economically and Transfer Wealth to the top 1%, because that's "Freedom", from Moral and Ethical Governance.
        super390
        • 2 Years Ago
        @kitman3
        But according to the Tea Party, Ron Paul, and all other free market heroes, it was EVIL and COMMUNISTIC that the government even passed ANY pollution laws at all! So we were actually freer when the air over Houston was a brown streak across the skyline. Yet I never hear you guys condemn the Republican government of 1866 for subsidizing fatcat speculators who built the Transcontinental Railroad, and countless other railroads, with corrupt public land sales. They claimed they couldn't perform an act needed to build America because the risk was too great, so they needed a subsidy until the costs came down and earnings went up. How is it different with electric cars?
        Rr778
        • 2 Years Ago
        @kitman3
        Flag on the play, excessive use of political math. Please revisit the 7500 subsidy it is a tax credit not the subsidy. Also please explain why you would divide the total value of shares held by the fed by the total volt sales to get the cost to manufacture a volt.
        kEiThZ
        • 2 Years Ago
        @kitman3
        Your ignorance represents everything that is wrong with America today.
        Smurf
        • 2 Years Ago
        @kitman3
        Wow..... How many invalid, incorrect studies can one person believe? You may have set a record for the most mis-information in a single post.... As a minimum you hold the record for being willing to eat the most (bowl sheet). This is the conservative way though... Find any study (true or not) that supports your view of the world and ignore all the others....
        PR
        • 2 Years Ago
        @kitman3
        kitman3 said: "In the USA, the air is much cleaner now - as anyone who was alive 40-50 years ago will tell you, especially around some of the bigger cities. This is due to several major environmental laws passed in the 1970's. And there are many many more cars on the road since the 1970's. Perhaps cars are really not causing the pollution the environmental lobbies would have you all believe?" Or perhaps you should THANK all the folks who passed those laws (starting in the 1960's, with new laws straight through today) who brought you that clean air. How about a brief moment of GRATITUDE for the benefits you have personally experienced from their hard fought battles? If you want to go back to fighting these same people with the new laws that will be required as population keeps growing, and the number of cars keeps growing, be my guest. But at least have the decency and common courtesy to give a simple Thank-You when people have helped you out by giving you cleaner air to breath through their actions.
      Smurf
      • 2 Years Ago
      "There's nothing wrong with oil, there's nothing wrong with gasoline," This is a true statement if you make the kind of money that Rush makes. An oil price spike will never impact him....
        christianii
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Smurf
        oil spikes probably make him more money. garantee he's invested in it
      Natalia Jason
      • 2 Years Ago
      wow!!!!!! its amazing i really liked it. but groffr offers good deal in this .Group Car Buying Deals facilitate great discount rates through group deals on Cars. Groffr.com is the India's Largest Website to provide great discounts on any verticals on group buy purchases. Be it Real Estate, Cars, Lifestyle products. To Avail more similar offers log on to www.groffr.com/cars
      • 2 Years Ago
      I LOVE seeing that last bit - the govt was suggesting GM kill the Volt program, but they didn't. I'm amazed more conservatives (which I am often called) don't see the bigger picture of future economic stability and national security by not being so reliant on foreign energy. Not a fan of the tax credit available for electric cars? More of us productive people hate wars costing us tax payers tens of millions every day to protect foreign oil supplies. "But, but, but, but they cost a lot." Oh that's right. I forgot how cheap and powerful personal computers were back in the 1980s-1990s when they first started really being bought. Don't take anything Limbaugh says worth a grain of salt. His job is to cause controversy and arguments.
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 2 Years Ago
        ^-- right on! Yeah, computers were expensive as hell back in the day.. You were also a weirdo for using them. In the early and mid 90's, people thought the internet was for dungeons and dragons and naughty pictures. Now everyone uses it. EVs do not have mass production / economies of scale whatsoever right now. I'm in touch with a few people who are work for manufacturers of small EV parts on the engineering side of things. It is amazing that they make a profit producing things in such small quantities. There is low hanging fruit waiting to be picked in cost reductions.. Anything new gets attacked by the conservative crazies. What's new.. Buy yourself an EV anyway. Hurt the oil companies that sponsor the man ;)
        Mark Schaffer
        • 2 Years Ago
        Other than Bob's claim what other evidence exists that the administration suggested this and was it one of many possible avenues explored during the bankruptcy?
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        " I'm amazed more conservatives (which I am often called) don't see the bigger picture of future economic stability and national security by not being so reliant on foreign energy." That's because a large number of them live in a delusional world where the USA could produce all of its own oil if only those hippie tree-huggers didn't stop every attempt to drill. Nevermind that we hit peak domestic production back in 1970 (42 years ago!).
      brotherkenny4
      • 2 Years Ago
      Fox is owned by News Corp --- Rupert Murdoch with major investors:ShareholdersIn August 2005 the Murdoch family owned only about 29% of the company. However, nearly all of these shares were voting shares, and Rupert Murdoch retained effective control of the company. Nonetheless, John Malone of Liberty Media had built up a large stake, with about half of the shares being voting shares. Therefore, in November 2006, News Corporation announced its intention to transfer its 38.5 per cent managing interest in DirecTV Group to John Malone's Liberty Media; in return it bought back Liberty's 16.3% shares in News Corp., giving Murdoch tighter control of the latter firm.[35] Murdoch sold 17.5 million class A shares in December 2007.[36] Prince Alwaleed bin Talal al-Saud of Saudi Arabia, through his Kingdom Holding Company, owns 7% of News Corp.'s shares, making Kingdom Holdings the second largest shareholder Note the Saudi influemce over news corp and thus Fox and Rush. He's just doing what the boss wants.
        kitman3
        • 2 Years Ago
        @brotherkenny4
        Since when does Limbaugh have any thing to do with Fox News or the Saudis? Stop drinking the progressive kool-aid man.
        Marco Polo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @brotherkenny4
        @brotherkenny4 Every so often someone repeats this tired old conspiracy theory. Kingdom Investments, whose principle shareholder is a Saudi citizen, owns 6.3% of the common stock, (giving Kingdom about 1.4% of the voting rights). Kingdom owns substantial interests in Amazon,AOL, Hong Kong & Shanghai Bank , Apple Inc, Coca Cola, Pepsi, Motorola, Citigroup, Compaq, eBay,Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts,Hewlett-Packard, McDonald's, Priceline.com Inc, Procter & Gamble, The Walt Disney Company, and hundreds of other corporations. Kingdom has no nominees on the Board of Fox, and with directors like , Arthur M. Siskind, Stanley S. Shuman, Andrew S. B. Knight of J.Rothchild Capital Inc. It would seem that any suggestion of control, by 'Islamic' forces or oil interests, might be a bit far fetched! Oh, I forgot, there's another director, Mr Viet Dinh! But NBC has a very substantial oil-related corporate shareholders. Nearly every Superannuation fund in the western world relies on dividends from Oil company profits. CBS shareholders include Qatar Investors, but then so does/did Tesla ! Coda, the ever arriving EV maker, is partly owned by an Oil company, as is BYD. Prince Alwaleed bin Talal al-Saud also owns a substantial shareholding in twitter, and owns shares in AOL (owner of ABG) . Thank goodness John Malone did not succeed in his take over bid. Nicknamed Darth Vader for his attack on the 'must carry' rule, he also believes in shutting down marginal or unprofitable print media, abolition of 'Public broadcasting' and supports limitations on free speech. (he is also the largest private landowner in the USA) He has no donations or involvement in environmental affairs. In contrast, Rupert Murdoch, has a long tradition of supporting free speech, Public Broadcasting and subsidies some of the world's oldest and most respected 'quality' newspapers. Contrary to most peoples opinion, Rupert Murdoch is a life long conservationist, and has intimated a deal of Land Care practises.
          Marco Polo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Marco Polo
          @ super390 Well you do get a choice, the other systems just provide monstrous, horribly reactionary corrupt demagogues, and insane, fascistic criminal ultra-demagogues, but you don't get a choice! :). Of course you can always become involved in the democratic process, yourself and persuade the 60% of your fellow citizens, who can't be bothered to vote, to vote for you. History will be kinder to Rupert Murdoch than is fashionable at the moment. He is the last of the old style print media barons, yet he was always the first to understand the power and inevitability of electronic media, especially the web. For good or for bad, when he dies, so too does an entire era. Most of the values he represented will disappear, the trick is not to lose the best of past.
          super390
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Marco Polo
          So what you're saying is that under capitalism we have a choice between monstrous, horribly reactionary corrupt conservatives, and insane, fascistic criminal ultraconservatives. Well, that's an easy vote for me to make... wait, where's the lever....?
      Chris M
      • 2 Years Ago
      Bogus argument - Nobody has proposed powering a 747 with today's batteries, and 747's are not fueled by gasoline. Limbaugh's claim that he isn't making this political is such a baldfaced lie that it borders on self-parody. Limbaugh and reality parted company long ago... Must have been the oxycontin.
      BipDBo
      • 2 Years Ago
      I believe what Mr. Limbaugh is trying to say without explicitly saying it, is that he fears that if you invent the electric car, then eventually some politician will force you to buy an electric car presumptively by pushing anything out through regulations. Fear not, though, my fellow greenies. As a registered republican, I can assure you that Mr. Limbaugh does not represent the right. He has no political power and knows nothing about cars. Do what I do, and simply disregard anything he says as the amusing ramblings of a bitter idiot.
        Ford Future
        • 2 Years Ago
        @BipDBo
        Limbaugh has no political power? He has hundreds of fools, if not thousands, who still listen to his bull.
          FunkyBanana
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ford Future
          15M says who? Him? Based on what? Terrestrial radio is not that precise in deteriming audience.
          Marco Polo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ford Future
          Rob Mahrt Rob, listeners and supporters are two different things. Rush Limbaugh's audience consists of people who always thought like him, people who listen and agree on a few, but not all issues, and mostly people who listen to be 'outraged'! This translates to advertising revenue, but not political power.
          Rob Mahrt
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ford Future
          Let's try 15 million listeners a week.
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