Yesterday morning at the LA Auto Show, Nate Holden, a retired LA City Councilman and California State Senator held a press conference on electric cars. Well, that was the plan, anyway. I went to the place where the conference was supposed to happen (and at the right time, too), but couldn't find anyone. I called the press contact but got no answer. And now, a day later, Google news has got no record of such an event taking place.
So, why write about something that didn't happen? Well, because it should make for some good discussion. Known as a controversial political figure, Holden had planned a pretty scathing event that was to lash out against a bailout and against the American auto manufacturers in general while offering strong support for mass-production of electric cars, according to a release that arrived before the non-event. Holden believes that "General Motors, other U.S. automakers and the oil companies committed sabotage against the American people and the environment." Read the whole thing after the jump and imagine what could have been.
What: Electric Car Press Conference
When: Wednesday, Nov. 19 at 10:00 AM
Where: LA Auto Show @LA Convention Center – Pavilion adjacent to West Entrance
Who: Hon. Nate Holden, Ret. LA City Councilman & Calif. State Senator
Los Angeles – November 18, 2008 -- Former California State Senator and Los Angeles City Councilman Nate Holden is holding a news conference, speaking out against American auto manufacturers and in support of mass-production of the electric car. The Honorable Nate Holden believes that the taxpayers should not bailout the auto manufacturers without The Big Three agreeing to mass-produce the electric car as an incentive.
Nate Holden states the following points:
• In 1990, the State of California enacted a zero-emissions mandate, forcing auto manufacturers who sold their cars in the State of California to require that at least 10% of the automobiles that are sold here have zero-emissions.
• In 2002 the Bush administration sided with the automakers to fight the zero-emissions mandate. The Bush administration, General Motors, other U.S. automakers and the oil companies committed sabotage against the American people and the environment. Because of the lawsuit, California will not make any strides in improving our air quality. To continue to build internal combustion engines will result in more photochemical smog and will cause more lung cancer and respiratory disease.
• At about that time, General Motors embarked on a program to deceive the public and the lawmakers. They introduced the EV1 as a revolutionary concept car. The EV1 had all the whistles and bells and if mass-produced, could have saved the automobile industry from its financial woes. At the beginning, General Motors and the other auto manufacturers never intended for the electric vehicle to be a successful program, specifically the EV1.
• It turned out to be nothing but a hoax when General Motors built 1,100 EV1s and allowed the public to lease and road test them. Without a doubt, the EV1, as a prototype vehicle, met the test acceptance program. In fact, in many circles there are those who are of the opinion that it exceeded the testing program. The consumers who leased the EV1 offered to purchase the EV1 vehicle from General Motors. They knew the EV1 was a zero-emission, cost effective automobile. General Motors said "no" and evoked the terms and conditions of the lease requiring that those vehicles be returned to General Motors and they were subsequently destroyed.
• General Motors has had at least ten years notice to develop and mass-produce an electric vehicle and they have failed to do so. They have continuously brainwashed the public and the elected officials, claiming that they were on our side and they are not! Here they are again, demanding that the hard-working taxpayers bail them out. (Them being the automobile manufacturers) They are demanding the bailout funding without any pre-conditions. Shame on them!
• Congress should not give auto manufacturers another dime until the commitment is made that they will build the electric vehicle as a top priority. We must stop importing our oil from the Middle East. The mass production of the electric vehicle can be our way of achieving that goal.
Nate Holden served four terms on the Los Angeles City Council (1987 to 2003). He served as Chairman of the Air Quality and Waste Management Committee and eight years as the Chairman of the Transportation Committee. Holden served as Chairman of the Inter-Government Relations Committee and Vice-Chairman of the Public Safety Committee. Holden also served as a Vice-Chairman of the Rapid Transit District (RTD), a member of the LA County Transportation Committee (LACTC), and as a member of the LA Metropolitan Transit Authority (LAMTA).
Holden previously served four years as a California State Senator where he authored and co-authored more than 70 bills that became law. While in the Senate, he served as Vice-Chairman of the very important Public Utilities Transit and Energy Committee.
Prior to that, Holden served as Assistant Chief Deputy to then Los Angeles County Supervisor Kenneth Hahn for 12 years.
Holden spent 17 years in the aerospace industry where he was assigned to innovative projects, including the Surveyor Lunar Landing spacecraft mission.
Mr. Holden is retired from public office and is now a consultant, specializing in government affairs.