• 66
In a U.S. presidential election season, anything can become political. Remember the height of trees in Michigan? Well, when you're dealing with such a barrage, it's sometimes good to remember that plug-in cars have been political for a long time and, despite some politicians best efforts, progress will continue.

Still, it's sometimes enlightening to take a look at how the debate over plug-in cars – which you would think would be a non-partisan issue – is being waged, especially the two biggest right-wing punching bags: the Chevrolet Volt and the Fisker Karma. There are plenty of examples conservative attacks on green cars in our archives (see here and here and here) but they quieted down earlier this year after some conservative push-back from people like Bob Lutz. Now, the attacks are back.

We don't agree that the government should, "repeal the costly EV tax credits that do little to help with foreign oil dependence and only further enrich already wealthy electric car buyers."

First, the Volt. Last month, Chevy started offering long-term "test-drives" of a sort for new buyers, the Chevy Confidence program, which allows buyers to have a new car for up to 60 days, including the Volt. Unsurprisingly, cries of tax credit abuse quickly rose from the same voices that have been attacking the Volt for ages. Namely, the National Legal and Policy Center's Mark Modica, who published an article called "Chevy Volt 60-Day Return Makes Tax Credit Abuse Likely." Not "reported," just likely, which is interesting. Modica describes a way for people to buy a Volt, submit the paperwork for the $7,500 federal tax credit, then return it after 59 days. The "buyer" would get the federal cash, GM would be stuck with a used Volt, and the taxpayers are on the hook. We don't agree with Modica that the government should, "repeal the costly EV tax credits that do little to help with foreign oil dependence and only further enrich already wealthy electric car buyers" but his suggestion that, "The IRS should also consider a minimum term of ownership for buyers of plug-in vehicles to qualify for tax credits" has merit.

We tried to get the IRS to clarify if the Confidence program could be abused in this way, but have not heard back. The terms and conditions of the Chevy Confidence program say, "You may be subject to federal, state, or local tax on any benefit paid." The small print on the TV ads say "Not available with some other offers." So, we're not sure if Modica is right, but we do know that his anti-Volt barrage got him invited onto Fox News to talk about "the Chevy Volt village" aka the Pecan Street Partnership (see inflammatory video below).

A more real problem for GM is when people actually take an extended test drive of a Volt and are then turned off from the car. That's what happened with George Anders, a writer for Forbes (a historically anti-EV publication), when he took a media loan of a Volt. He couldn't find convenient charging stations and, when he did the math on his peak-rate electricity charge, he came up with a cost of $3.90 to drive 40 miles on electricity. His peak rate of 30 cents a kWh is higher than average, but the point is that he wasn't happy. And neither was GM, which told Anders his article's premise was "relatively pointless."

Fisker Atlantic reveal - front three-quarter view

Republicans are also unhappy with the federal money that Fisker Automotive has received. This is not a new line of attack, but it was revived recently by Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, who said, "President Obama took half a billion dollars of your taxpayer money and gave it to Fisker Automotive because they promised to create jobs at their Wilmington plant and to hire workers here in the Delaware Valley. They promised to build cars here and create jobs here. Their factory in Delaware, which would have created jobs for people both in Delaware and here in southeastern Pennsylvania, was supposed to be open today, but instead it's closed." That's only partially true. The plant is not yet open, but Fisker has only taken around $193 million federal dollars, even though the original grant amount was for $529 million. Also, Fisker hasn't said officially that they won't build Atlantic vehicles in Delaware, but former Fisker chairman and current investor Ray Lane did blame Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney delaying the DOE loans.

Romney has picked up the anti-plug-in baton, saying that Obama is giving money to "electric cars from Finland." This isn't true.

Romney has picked up the anti-plug-in baton, saying that Obama is giving money to "electric cars from Finland." First off, Finland is the place I most like to be. Second, Romney's statement isn't in any way true. Fisker contracted Valmet to make the Karma plug-in hybrid in Finland, but the federal money was designated for the Atlantic model, which is (was?) supposed to be made in the U.S. You can get a point-by-point breakdown of Romney's misleading anti-Obama, anti-Fisker ad here.

Or take the news of the recent investment by Chinese company Wanxiang Group Corporation in A123 Systems. In response, Republican senators John Thune and Chuck Grassley wrote DOE Secretary Steven Chu a letter asking about federal money going to A123. They wrote: "Billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars have flowed to foreign companies through the Recovery Act, and we are concerned that the recent announcement could lead to even more taxpayer dollars going overseas."

Then there are the one-liners, like President Obama's recent jab at a Romney's statement that "you can't drive a car with a windmill on it." Obama, not getting into the reality of such a vehicle, made fun of the story of Romney strapping the family dog to the roof of his car decades ago. Isn't politics fun?








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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 66 Comments
      PR
      • 2 Years Ago
      The problem with EV's is the height of the trees on the top of EV's. They just aren't exactly the right height. You can't go driving around in a car where the height of the trees on the car don't make you happy. /sarc
      Smurf
      • 2 Years Ago
      Don't worry about Mark Modica. He is a disgruntled former Saturn Dealership owner who got screwed in the GM bankruptcy.. He has made publishing negative information about GM and the Chevy Volt his life mission. You will never turn him, so don't even try... Hell hath no fury like man who lost his business.... As for the rest of the world....... even in this election year I'm seeing less negative political stuff in regards to the Volt compared to last year.
        Spiffster
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Smurf
        "As for the rest of the world....... even in this election year I'm seeing less negative political stuff in regards to the Volt compared to last year." Thats because people finally figured out how PHEVs work... and nobody has gotten divorced as a result of forgetting to plug the Volt in. Neil Cavuto being the only exception... he's a little slow.
          MTN RANGER
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spiffster
          So, true. Today, I talked to a couple driving a Suburban about my Volt. They were impressed when I gave the details. I'm changing opinions one person at a time!
      carney373
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm a conservative Republican. Pro-life, pro-family, pro-gun, anti-tax, pro-victory EVERYWHERE in the War on Terror, and ultra hardline on immigration. And I'm a huge fan of alt fuels (ethanol and methanol) and am rooting for electric cars like the Volt too. Why? Because oil crashes our economy and funds our mortal enemies in the War on Terror. Because we have less than 2% of the world's commercially recoverable oil reserves, counting Arctic and offshore, while OPEC has more than 78%, so even if we dropped all green restrictions and drilled all-out OPEC could easily cut production a tad to match or over-match our most all-out effort and keep supply low enough, and prices high enough, to keep its revenue stream intact, even if its direct sales to us decline. There's no way out of the oil trap but to break free from oil. I've been beating my head against a wall on this issue with my fellow conservatives for years.
        markrogo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @carney373
        If only there were more conservative Republicans like you... Oh, and by the way, what makes this country great is that we can disagree on so many issues. What makes it less great than it used to be is we can't seem to agree on the critical issues of the day.... Keep on keeping on, Carney.
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 2 Years Ago
        @carney373
        Gosh, never thought i'd feel sympathetic to Carney :) Don't feel too bad. I pretty much get nowhere when i try to convince fellow libertarians to get off oil. They're against the wars... they're against subsidies, but just like most people, they are unwilling to try something different or reduce their use. What does it take to convince someone to stop using so much oil? You would think that it would be a very pallatable idea to people that think along conservative lines of thinking. Or anti-war "crazies" like me.
          2 Wheeled Menace
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          That's the problem. Electric costs quite a bit more. Urban adoption ( where they are more useful ) is a problem due to lack of garages to charge in. But the fact is that we've laid out the system so that gas cars continually win. People also need to consider alternatives other than the car.
          2 Wheeled Menace
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          Sorry Joe, but that is not true. This is an old misconception that i find myself correcting very often. If you have a moment, look up "Environmental Problems, Libertarian Solutions Walter Block" on youtube. Block is the lead environmentalist thinker of the libertarian party and has better ideas than the 2 party system, for sure. 'Cap and trade' is also an idea that stemmed from the libertarian party, as a way for the market to figure out how to reduce their emissions best. It may not be a popular idea with the republicans, democrats, or eve people in the libertarian party... but it is a libertarian idea. Give the video a look, i guarantee it is worth your time.
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          Libertarian ideals are nice, and I agree with many of them. But libertarians tend to value the individual's right to damage the future as well. It is more about foresight than any particular political affiliation or ideology.
          2 Wheeled Menace
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          I charged my ebike in my kitchen for 2 years solid when we lived in a dinky apartment and didn't have a garage. I think that's how Chinese folks do it.
          paulwesterberg
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          Btw like most days I biked to work. It was a lovely ride and traffic was not a problem.
          carney373
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          In talking with your free market friends, I would suggest several points: Adam Smith supported sail cloth subsidies to prevent Britain becoming dependent on its enemies for that era's source of strategically crucial transportation motive power. von Hayek supported state action against private-sector monopolies and cartels. OPEC is a gang of gov’ts, making acting against THEM even more justifiable. The energy sector is hardly a free market that is sullied by US gov’t intervention to boost post-oil transportation tech. In fact it is already deeply, even fatally distorted by gov’t, and not even our own democratically elected one, but by foreign regimes that are a roll call of some of the worst, most viciously anti-freedom regimes on Earth. OPEC members set aside their often bitter rivalries to cooperate in an open conspiracy to impose a giant, brutally regressive "tax" on the entire rest of the world, including us. They do this by artificially low production levels that create artificial scarcity, imposed by state fiat on their state-owned, state-run, state-monopoly oil sectors. Laissez-faire CAN’T counteract this because of the brutal fact of where the oil is - 78% of all commercially recoverable oil, and nearly all the cheapest, most-wanted oil, is within the borders of OPEC states. Even all-out US drilling will have no effect since OPEC can further restrict production to match our increased production, keeping prices artificially high and our enemies' revenue stream intact. The cartel can get away with such high prices because our cars are "locked in" to only being able to use their fuel, making us a helpless captive market. Automakers won't change this because of the problem of collective action - nobody wants to incur the costs of adding full flex fuel capability to their fleet, because if they're the only one to do it, it will only raise their costs (marginally) without providing enough added value to consumers to cause increased sales, since filling stations won't switch a pump to alcohol in response to such a relatively small increase in the proportion of cars that are alcohol compatible. The only way to make it happen is for everyone to do it at the same time. Is that gov’t "interference"? Yes, but it's in response to egregious and incredibly damaging interference by hostile foreign powers, and what our intervention does is break open the market. Electric cars have a whole menu of choices of how to power up - coal, natural gas, nuclear, hydro, green power, etc. And because alcohol fuel, especially methanol with an M, can be made from such a vast array of sources (natural gas, coal, and ANY biomass including crop residues, weeds, trash, even sewage), fully flex fuel vehicles are an expansion of consumer choice as well. Competition results in lower prices and higher quality; gov’t monopoly results in stagnation, artificially high prices, and empowerment of tyrannies and extremism at our expense. Easy choice!
          paulwesterberg
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          I think that in order to get sheeple to use less oil you need to make the new technology easier/cheaper than what they have now. Electric cars needs to cost less than gas cars based on a 3 year cost of ownership. I think induction charging is stupid because it wastes so much energy(new tech may make me less of a hater). But, sheeple will love being able to pull into their garage every night and have the vehicle fully fueled in the morning.
        Rob J
        • 2 Years Ago
        @carney373
        The hell is pro-family?
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Rob J
          "Oh, so it's like if you play tennis, that makes you anti football :)" More like a football team (a family) kicks out one of their players and tells him to go play tennis.
          2 Wheeled Menace
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Rob J
          Just play tennis alone, don't form a team..
          Marco Polo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Rob J
          @ Rob J " The hell is pro-family? " Families ? :)
          2 Wheeled Menace
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Rob J
          Oh, so it's like if you play tennis, that makes you anti football :)
          paulwesterberg
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Rob J
          Anti-Gay
          2 Wheeled Menace
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Rob J
          Better question is.. what is anti-family?
          purrpullberra
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Rob J
          Pro-family = Perverted claim that your beliefs on sex and what a family is should be enforced by big government. Carney373: That is a perverted lifestyle choice, to think your feelings matter. Why should government get to enforce your bigotry, anymore? I allow everyone the right to think and feel what they want but you can't demand that your hatred be enforced by big gubmint. That's fascist, not conservative.
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Rob J
          So gays should be disowned from families?
          carney373
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Rob J
          I'll bite and assume you're not playing dumb for rhetorical reasons. "Pro family" in the context of conservative politics means, socially conservative, especially opposed to the gay rights movement's cultural and social agenda, but also in a broader context, in favor of traditional family values - no sex outside marriage, opposition to "adult entertainment", etc.
        Marco Polo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @carney373
        @ Carney Since you are done with the statue of liberty, can I buy it? I won't buy into your populist anti-oil rant, except to say this: The US is already heading to be free of dependance on foreign oil imports for energy needs due to the discovery of commercially viable Natural gas resources. (Arguably the worlds largest reserves). However, the Oil industry is directly 12-18 % of the US economy. Indirectly, Oil contributes another 14-16% ! Oil employs nearly 30 million Americans. The Oil industry is the largest single Taxpayer, ( at the highest rate). The entire US (and most of the western world's) superannuation industry, depends on Oil profits to survive. Opec countries invest more than 50 % of their revenues back into American business. Governments of all persuasions, must take these factors into consideration when deciding policies regarding the oil industry. Terrorists are not funded by 'oil' but by a hatred of all sorts of things. In the complex issues of the Middle East, the US 'unconditional' support for Israel has built a legacy of hatred that will take decades to dispel. If you really want to achieve any sort of realistic reduction in oil created pollution, why not focus your energy against the one oil product that creates the most harm ? The use of Marine grade No. 6 maritime fuel (Bunker Oil) creates more deadly pollution than all the other Oil environmental disaster put together. A single container vessel can create the equivalent carcinogenic pollution as 50 million cars. A conservative estimate of 200-700 thousand people a year die from bunker oil pollution each year, with millions becoming ill. The damage to the environment and food chain is yet to be assessed. The best part is, even the major oil companies hate bunker oil, and support it's abolition ! Surely, this is the one campaign both left, and right, can agree to support ? Will you lend a hand?
          carney373
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Marco Polo
          And let's talk jobs, shall we? In 1999 ol was $10 a barrel; in 2008, thanks to OPEC, it was $140 a barrel. Since we import 5 billion a year out of necessity (less than 2% of world oil reserves, 20% plus of world oil demand since our cars are stupidly stuck on oil-only), that means we went from spending $50 billion a year on imported oil to $700 billion, a new, added-on, $650 billion tax increase paid ANNUALLY by the US economy. That's an additional $2,000 and change for every man, woman, and child in America, working or not, or more than $8,000 for a family of 4 when average income is $45,000, or $35,000 after taxes. Is it still a complicated mystery why masses of people delayed purchasing big items like houses and cars, crashing the real estate and auto industries, and the associated financial sectors that handled the loans, a crash that took the rest of the economy down with it? The massive unemployment, the massive vanishing of market value, housing value, and wealth, crushingly out-weighs the narrow interests of the oil industry and its employees.
          Marcopolo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Marco Polo
          @ Joeviocoe Thank you for your interest. I don't often quote the Guardian, but on 9 Apr 2009 the environment editor, John Vidal, published an article titles " Health risks of shipping pollution have been 'underestimated". The article contained a great deal of useful information. (www.guardian.co.uk › Environment › Travel and transport) Googling "Bunker Oil health problems" will provide you with over 1 million sources ! But the Guardian's article quote all it's research material. New and even more alarming studies are being prepared as the effects of food chain pollution are finally being researched. Much of the most damning research comes from studies funded by major oil companies and maritime insurance companies ! The estimates of health effects and deaths may be very conservative. Although the US figure of 60,000 deaths is probably an underestimate, with some European countries showing higher mortality rates, but there are no statistic's supplied by the PRC, India and most of the underdeveloped world. It's an appalling situation. But just to illustrate my point about priorities, consider the following : The world's biggest container ships have 109,000 horsepower engines which weigh 2,300 tons. Each ship expects to operate 24hrs a day for about 280 days a year There are over 100,000 ocean-going cargo ships Shipping is responsible for 18-30% of all the world's nitrogen oxide (NOx) pollution and 9% of the global sulphur oxide (SOx) pollution. One large ship can generate about 5,000 tonnes of sulphur oxide (SOx) pollution in a year 70% of all ship emissions are within 400km of land. 85% of all ship pollution is in the northern hemisphere. Shipping is responsible for 3.5% to 4% of all climate change emissions The pollution from one ship can equal 50 million cars This is a huge source of pollution that can be ended immediately, with very little economic disruption.
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Marco Polo
          Okay, I just read that you did mention the 60,000 / year. But that was NOT for just the U.S. Corbett was quoted as saying, "...totals about 60,000 deaths a year worldwide." AND, he mentions China and India as being part of that statistic. The problem is most severe in the Mediterranean, India and East Asia, where populations are dense and shipping prevalent. And nothing in that article suggests that the estimate is particularly conservative. So let's just go with 60,000 / year and not try to imply much higher. All that said, 60,000 / year worldwide is WAY more than acceptable.
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Marco Polo
          Thanks... but the 9 April 2009 Guardian article.. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/apr/09/shipping-pollution directly quotes from another article from 31 March 2009... http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/mar/31/noaa-pollution-florida-freighters-tankers-cruise-ships "One of the study's co-authors, James Corbett, professor of marine and earth studies at the University of Delaware, conducted earlier research that quantified through statistical analysis how many people may die from shipborne pollution each year. "Particulate matter emissions from oceangoing ship engines were estimated to contribute to the premature deaths of tens of thousands of people globally," Corbett said in an interview. That number, the professor said, totals about 60,000 deaths a year worldwide." No where near 200,000 - 700,000 per year as you wrote! And I would not call even Professor Corbett's estimate of 60,000/yr, a conservative one. I agree with the overall grim assessment of cargo vessel emissions. They certainly need to quickly reduce emission. *crosses fingers for a cheap and safe nuclear solution sometime soon* But they do carry a LOT of weight and must push that weight through the whole ocean. If you thought air resistance was bad.. Anyway, I understand there is a huge problem... but try not to make it worse by overstating beyond reasonable proportions. Because it turns reasonable people away if they think you're just pulling numbers from thick, polluted air.
          carney373
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Marco Polo
          It's great that we have such large natural gas reserves, but they don't help us break free from oil without further changes to the status quo. This is because oil is barely used anymore for electricity (only 3% of our electricity production, down from nearly 20% in the 1970s). The real oil problem is in transportation tech, and ordinary gasoline-only cars (90% plus of our fleet) can't use natural gas. You need to either have an electric car that taps the local natural gas fired electric power plant via plugging in, or a CNG car, or a fully flex fueled car that can use methanol (which is most easily and cheaply made from methanol). You're completely wrong about Israel being the problem. Sayyid Quttub, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood (father organization of al Qaeda), declared war on the US and Western Civilization not because of Israel but because he was apalled at the "decadence" he saw during a dance party. In the 1950s. In rural Colorado. In a church. NOTHING we do, no ally we throw to the wolves, can appease these people!! Oil causes extremism in the following way. Mideastern and other governments use their state monopoly oil sectors as their sole source of revenue. Without that prop, they would be forced to rely on taxation, which means they'd have an incentive to increase commerce and the development of a pragmatic merchant class that would eventually demand political representation or at least moderate policies. With that oil prop, extremist regimes can stifle economic development, buy popular loyalty with handouts, suppress dissent, and spread their extremism elsewhere. Saudi money has corrupted and radicalized all the Muslim world's most respected institutions, such as in Egypt, and supports tens of thousands of madrassas, including thousands in Pakistan, that lure in poor vilalge boys with the promise of room, board, and education, but teaches them only rote memorization of the Koran and the most extreme and intolerant interpretation of it imaginable, turinng simple rural folk into raving supporters of violent terror. Before oil, the Saudi form of Islam was regarded by the Islamic world as a backward, heretical sect of distant poor barbarians. It's as if the Fred Phelps church or the Aryan Nations suddenly became zillionaires and eclipsed and bought out the Vatican. OIL IS THE PROBLEM.
          Marcopolo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Marco Polo
          @Joe. James Corbett published his results in 2007. His data was gathered 2005. Since then there have significant new developments. For instance James Corbetts sources were very incomplete as much of data he relied upon either didn't exist or was just guess work. In addition he only included cardio-pulmonary moralities. James Corbett also wrongly assessed the effect on the PRC, and didn't include food chain etc.. This isn't meant as a criticism of Professor Corbett, just that most of the material necessary wasn't available when he compiled his study . To answer your question, the number of ships using bunker oil is much larger than just Cargo/Container ships. Naval, Ferrys, liners etc all use this bunker oil. .
          Marcopolo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Marco Polo
          @ Carney, I think you betray yourself when you refer to "these people" . Your obsession with Muslim extremists and oil revenues is just irrational paranoia, with a bit of bigotry thrown in ! By your logic all terrorists would require massive funding. In truth terrorists require very little funding to wreak mayhem. The twentieth century saw all sort of terrorists, from bomb throwing anarchists to misanthropic American red necks. None of these terrorists had anything to do with oil, or OPEC. (Most had very little money !) Equally illogical is your assumption that if the US doesn't buy Arab Oil, nobody else will ! Europe and Asia will eagerly take over US positions (and influence) , leaving the US with no bargaining strategy, and lost allies. Carney, nearly 30 countries use LPG to power their taxi fleets, the modification required to convert an existing gasoline vehicle is about $2000 . Ford, etc, build and sell LPG vehicles at no premium ! The US seems to prefer CNG to LPG, but the tech isn't that much more complicated. January 1999 saw a low price of $ US17 per barrel (not $10) due to the exceptional circumstances of massively increased Iraq oil production, during the Asian Financial Crisis. Oil depletion will continue to drive alternate energy development. The only reason that Oil is barely able to supply it's demand is that extraction technology has advanced faster that the effects of depletion. I can't figure out how your theory that closing down nearly 20% of the US economy, and the most profitable US industry, will assist employment growth ! Forget ranting about stuff that will not happen, and focus on real problems that can be solved.
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Marco Polo
          Well okay, you could have just said that the study was using 2005 data. But that doesn't give any credence to just inflating the number from 60,000 all the way to 200,000 - 700,000. That is the statement and number that I asked you to source. "James Corbett also wrongly assessed the effect on the PRC, and didn't include food chain etc." And what is your source for this? Or is that just an assumption based on him not specifically mentioning the PRC and food chain? All I am asking is for the source that says Corbett was incorrect. "the number of ships using bunker oil is much larger than just Cargo/Container ships. Naval, Ferrys, liners etc all use this bunker oil." Okay, but it looked like you just copied from the article, and changed the number. It specifically said, "There are 90,000 ocean-going cargo ships" and you wrote specifically, "There are over 100,000 ocean-going cargo ships" You said Cargo ships. It is fine to make a crucial point on such a huge environmental problem... but if you quote specific numbers, we NEED to be vigilant and source exactly as written.
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Marco Polo
          "A conservative estimate of 200-700 thousand people a year die from bunker oil pollution each year, with millions becoming ill." Source please.
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Marco Polo
          Oh, and you said, "There are over 100,000 ocean-going cargo ships" when directly quoting the article from 2009. But the article says, "There are 90,000 ocean-going cargo ships". Are you really extrapolating on your own to have a 10% increase in cargo ship over the last 3 years???
        Joeviocoe
        • 2 Years Ago
        @carney373
        "and ultra hardline on immigration." I thought you were Irish? Weren't they hated more than Mexicans are today,... for stealing jobs, causing crime, and being a burden on limited resources.... when they were immigrating in droves a hundred years ago??? If I'm wrong about you being Irish, tell me what tribe you are in, and I'll apologize.
          carney373
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          I wasn't trying to launch a wide-ranging debate on every hot-button political issue. I was just establishing the fact that I'm conservative pretty much across the board, and that supporting getting off oil is possible for someone like me. I'm ethnically Irish, born in America. You're correct the Irish faced a great deal of hostility, and that some of the anti-Irish sentiment of the time echoes some sentiment against current immigrant groups. But the reality is, a lot of that anti-Irish feeling at the time was understandable. We DID cause a lot of crime, disease, corruption, changed social mores (drinking), etc. We badly distorted American foreign policy. The Catholic Church at the time, at least in the Vatican, vehemently proclaimed its hostility to democracy, free speech, and freedom of religion, and its preference for exclusively Catholic absolutist monarchy. It took about a century of painful effort to get assimilate, acculturate, and fully Americanize the Irish, and this was in a context of America being confident and having no problem with demanding that newcomers speak English learn to revere America's history and heroes (and not solely in a context of how America became nicer to newcomers or out-groups), and with a group that was closely genetically related, physically similar and from the same corner of the same continent. Also, Irish immigration STOPPED after a while. Current immigration has none of those characteristics - the people are visibly different (a major psychological barrier to full assimilation, on the part of both the newcomers and the broader society), from a different continet and culture, with a country weakened by lack of confidence, multi-culturalism, and terrified to even ask, let alone demand, assimilation. Not only that but we don't need endless mililons of low-skill laborers anymore. The fact that my ancestors were immigrants and took some grief over it imposes zero obligation on me to support open borders and low standards today.
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free" No where in that statement is a disclaimer about being a low-skilled worker. "The fact that my ancestors were immigrants and took some grief over it imposes zero obligation on me to support open borders and low standards today." -Carney Fair enough. But when you said, "ultra hardline on immigration"... that usually means you want to build a double wall around the U.S. and start searching brown people for papers so you can immediately kick them out. Well, I'm glad you are not unaware of the "Irish Problem" we had those years ago... but just remember, if "Immigration Ultra Hardliners" of that day were to have their way... your family would have been deported and you would born elsewhere. All I am saying is that moderate immigration reform is needed (allow the good workers to stay)... none of that Hardline B.S.
        me
        • 2 Years Ago
        @carney373
        What's "Pro Family" ? lol
        me
        • 2 Years Ago
        @carney373
        Yeah lets get of da url so we can kill more tuuurist mooslemms yeeeehaaaaaw!!
      Spiffster
      • 2 Years Ago
      "repeal the costly EV tax credits that do little to help with foreign oil dependence and only further enrich already wealthy electric car buyers." Isnt this the premise of "trickle down" economics that the right endorse? So, rather than promote new technology and job growth directly, lets just give the wealthy more tax breaks, and hope they (share) the wealth. Politicians an interesting bunch.
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spiffster
        That's not trickle down economics, that's just idiocy and oil industry favoritism. It's the route backwards... for sure. At the same time, neither candidate of the 2 party system wants to talk about stopping the wars / occupation for oil, tax breaks and subsidies for the oil companies, or pushing the EPA to actually do their job and not turn a blind eye until citizens get up in arms. The 'externality' of pollution gets transferred to the customer.. :( The real way forward is to remove the oil subsidies, in all their forms. Let the true cost be reflected at the pump. Yep - the price of gas will go up. Then we'll pay the true cost. And the long-ignored alternatives will fly off the shelves. Like they started to do in the late 2000's.
          2 Wheeled Menace
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          Good for them for trying. That's the first time i've heard of this, Paul. So thanks for bringing it to my attention.
          paulwesterberg
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          Actually the Democratic members of congress and President Obama have tried to end oil company subsidies but they were blocked by Republicans in the senate(and likely the house): http://www.cnn.com/2012/03/29/politics/oil-subsidies/index.html
      Nationwide
      • 2 Years Ago
      How when we have so many of their cars that has been in a accident and still have issues ? I mean for heaven sakes the tough thing is figuring on saving the trees or saving money. You are still killing a tree. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdmqTlLVGTs because some dealers do not care as long as they sell the car for $1000 or less.
      paulwesterberg
      • 2 Years Ago
      Republicans forget that the plug-in vehicle tax credit was made into law when Bush signed the Tax Extenders and Alternative Minimum Tax Relief Act of 2008. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_Improvement_and_Extension_Act_of_2008#Energy_Improvement_and_Extension_Act_of_2008 Also Paul Ryan voted for Tarp and the Auto Bailout.
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 2 Years Ago
        @paulwesterberg
        Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeppppp... What goes on during a campaign has no resemblance to reality whatsoever. Quite crazy that Bush wrote the auto bailout into TARP and Obama gets to take the blame. How does that work again?
      Smith Jim
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm getting really tired of politics. I have strong opinions about climate change but instead of debating the problem I'd rather talk about solutions.
      idomyownloan
      • 2 Years Ago
      Nobody cares about electric cars or a car that can drive itself. I like control and my clients at http://buyherepayherenationwide.com like to also know that they are getting home safe without a computer.
      Ryan
      • 2 Years Ago
      You can drive a car with a windmill on it. It even can go faster than the wind. It has been proven, check YouTube. More practically, wind turbines produce fluctuating power, which if the power company allowed EV owners to save money and choose to charge when the Sun was shining or the wind was blowing for a lower rate, then the electrons would power the car. Anyways, there is a lot of money that has been spent, and some good advancements have been made. But, we need to spend that money to get the cars out there.
        Joeviocoe
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ryan
        What?!
          Ryan
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          What, what? These guys put a wind turbine on top of a custom vehicle on a dry lake bed out West. It isn't too practical because you have to go 45 degrees off the wind. I would post a video, but it will have the wait until I get home. The second part is to say that renewable energy can and does power cars and trucks. The third part is that having the government be a customer is better than just handing out loans hoping to get paid back.
          paulwesterberg
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          Also worth mentioning is GreenBird - a 126mph wind powered sail cart: http://www.greenbird.co.uk/
          Letstakeawalk
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          I assume Ryan is referencing DDWFTTW. http://green.autoblog.com/2012/07/15/ddwfttw-blackbird-breaks-records/
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          Okay... I re-read all that. Yeah, I've read and seen DDWFTTW and the others. Not really what either Obama or Romney meant, but yeah. Also, some utilities DO allow customers to buy electricity from renewables like solar and wind. But they are more, not less, expensive than the other forms of power... but usually only a few cents / kwh extra.
          paulwesterberg
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          Here is their website, scroll down for videos: http://www.fasterthanthewind.org/
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ryan
        Ha.. what happens on the salt flats does not necessarily translate into what you'd design into a production car. If the wind is turbulent, going in the wrong direction, or non-existent, then a turbine is going to hurt your efficiency. Just like a sizeable solar panel on top of a car adds a lot of weight, reducing your efficiency when the sun is not providing sun. Energy generation is best done at home or elsewhere, not on the car.
      Rick
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wish we had Fox News in the UK, l could watch it all day long whatever the news with that drop dead gorgeous blonde presenter Wow she is beautiful. So much better than our ole BBC biddies. $7500 discount x 100,000 Volt sales = $750,000,000 of taxpayers money in bribes, surely it should sell on merit. Let hope GM don't sell to many they will bankrupt the USA, the US government/taxpayer will have to go into Chapter 11.
      Chris M
      • 2 Years Ago
      As usual, Fox News gets it completely wrong. "Spontaneously combusts"? Catching fire after severe accident damage is hardly "spontaneous". They also try to "blame Obama" for programs that started during the Bush administration, including the $7,500 tax credit for buying a Volt or other plug-in car, the "Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing" loan program, and the GM / Chrysler bailout. This isn't just a conservative bias, it's willfully misleading!
      Rick
      • 2 Years Ago
      US military are going environmentally friendly LOL buying a fleet of Volts so they don't harm the environment, they will be firing blanks next that don't harm the enemy next no doubt. (Sounds more like off loading cars nobody wants onto the military budget), GE who have a self interest electric power agenda, are the only real big buyer of Volts. UK is broke will never buy these expensive hybrids even with huge taxpayer discounts, everybody is cutting back we have a Dutch type quite cycling revolution going on more and more working class folk are buying bikes rather than new cars, 1.3 million gave up on the car in 2010 because they have become to expensive, and 3.2 million brought cycles in the same year, cycle sales were up +28%. UK Chevy Volt sales so far this year in the UK are just 21.
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