Mr. President, you are building the wrong car.
In a May 2007 speech before the Detroit Economic Club, Candidate Obama chastised American automakers for building the wrong cars—while they were building “bigger, faster cars,” “foreign competitors were investing in more fuel-efficient technology.” He stated that “it’s not enough to only build cars that use less oil—we also have to move away from that dirty dwindling fuel altogether.” He noted that “the transformation of the cars we drive and the fuels we use would be the most ambitious energy project in decades.” He promised “generous tax incentives” and “more tax credits” to make this happen. He believed that the additional costs are “the price we pay as citizens committed to a cause bigger than ourselves.” He claimed to be a leader who could make this happen as he intoned, “Believe me, we can do it if we really try.”
While that speech did not mention the Chevy Volt, or even electric cars, it surely laid out his ideology. For the most part, these are campaign promises he has kept. He has driven Detroit to “move away from that dirty fuel altogether.” He has offered “generous tax incentives” and “more tax credits.” To see “the most ambitious energy project in decades” become a reality his administration has handed out loans to virtually every strata in the electric car’s foundation.
He’s bailed out GM—which allowed government manipulation of the market to produce the Volt in the first place.
He’s given billions of taxpayer dollars to “green” energy companies who promised to deliver the electricity—Solyndra is just the one of the myriad of failures in his “ambitious energy project.”
Beacon Power Company received $39 million of its government-guaranteed loan before it filed for bankruptcy. Beacon Power developed new technology that supposedly provides energy storage designed to help the intermittent solar and wind power be used by power grids, which need stable power to remain reliable.
Just this week, another Obama backed company filed for bankruptcy. EnerDel made lithium-ion batteries for electric cars. It received more than $100 million in government funding from the Obama administration, as part of the economic stimulus package and green energy push. One year before EnerDel filed for bankruptcy, Vice President Biden visited the plant and crowed: “A year and a half ago, this administration made a judgment. We decided it’s not sufficient to create new jobs—we have to create whole new industries.” The reason for EnerDel’s demise? “The company suffered when demand for the batteries dropped as fewer Americans than expected opted for electric cars.”
Yes, the Obama administration has worked hard to line up the dominos to insure a “transformation of the cars we drive and the fuels we use.” They have provided “generous tax incentives” and “more tax credits.” But to what end?
The dominos have fallen, one right after the other—all the way up to the Chevy Volt and beyond.
Last week GM launched “national and television print ads” to try to bolster the slumping sales for the Volt. (Every time you see an ad for an electric car, think of President Obama and your tax dollars.) Dealer orders are down. They report: “We just haven’t been seeing the interest. The cost definitely has something to do with it.” GM is considering slowing production due to the less-than-expected demand and has temporarily laid-off 1,200 workers.
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