August 25, 2010

Americans Subsidizing the Green Fetish of the Rich

Justin Katz

Henry Payne questions the Obama administration's approach to saving the environment through the subsidization of green cars that only wealthy households can afford (try here if you don't subscribe to National Review):

In this unholy alliance of Big Government and Big Auto, the carmakers exacted their price — more taxpayer billions to underwrite their research, in addition to the same $7,500-per-vehicle tax credit that buyers get for purchasing a Tesla. And since plug-in hybrids like GM's Chevy Volt cost $40,000 — or about the price of an entry-level BMW — the program amounts to yet another set of subsidies for buyers with six-figure incomes.

Payne closes by noting that cars that Americans actually want, such as Jeep Grand Cherokees, remain profitable. All government intervention in this market is going to do is to distort incentives and place chips on technological bets that politicians — not scientists, not car designers, not consumers — consider promising. Of course, "promising" for a politician is always promising to their careers, not to the taxpayers and voters whom they are supposed to represent nor the economy that keeps the country rolling.

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Haven't the taxpayers been subsidizing these fetishes for a long time? Every time I ask if it makes sense to fund NASA for $19 billion a year, people talk about all the research that is done including cell phone batteries, solar power, etc. Of course I don't agree that is is a good use of $19 billion, but I don't think that this is new.

Posted by: Patrick at August 25, 2010 11:14 AM

Bush's Freedom Car.. $ 1.2 Billion
Approved by the GOP led congress
$250,000??? MSRP EACH
President Bush said in his State of Union address that he wants $1.2 billion to develop hydrogen-powered automobiles. Mr. Bush said the project would promote a healthier environment and reduce the country's dependence on foreign oil

What Bush didn't reveal in his nationwide address, however, is that his administration has been working quietly to ensure that the system used to produce hydrogen will be as fossil fuel-DEPENDANT -- and potentially as DIRTY -- as the one that fuels today's SUVs. According to the administration's National Hydrogen Energy Roadmap, drafted last year in CONSERT with the energy industry, up to 90 percent of all hydrogen will be refined from oil, natural gas, and other fossil fuels -- in a process using energy generated by burning oil, coal, and natural gas. The remaining 10 percent will be cracked from water using nuclear energy.

Posted by: Sammy at August 25, 2010 1:49 PM

"President Bush said in his State of Union address..."

Who? I thought Obama is the president today?

Posted by: Patrick at August 25, 2010 3:27 PM

""Who? I thought Obama is the president today?""

Wow that is cleaver, did you think of that all by yourself

Posted by: Sammy at August 25, 2010 4:25 PM

""Who? I thought Obama is the president today?""

Wow..that is clever, did you think of that,all by yourself ??

Posted by: Sammy at August 25, 2010 4:28 PM

Go rent "Who Killed the Electric Car?", a documentary about the all-electric vehicle program that GM launched out in California several years ago as an experiment. The film gives you a great window into the very special world of the rich liberals, lefty activists and Hollywood idiots that seem to have been the only people that were allowed to/could afford to lease these cars.

Posted by: Chris at August 25, 2010 6:31 PM

"Wow that is cleaver, did you think of that all by yourself"

Beaver or Wally?

Posted by: Patrick at August 25, 2010 7:37 PM


The US Air Force and State of Hawaii (floated $50 million in bonds) created a partnership creating the National Demonstration Center for Alternative Fuel at Hickham Air Force Base.

With the help of both private companies and the University of Hawaii researchers and the Air Force Advanced Power Technology office a roll-on/roll-off deployable photovoltaic solar powered operational commercial grade hydrogen generator refueling station has been created to refuel the bus, step vans, cars and MB-4 aircraft tow tractor using electricity and water to create the hydrogen fuel.

This project has been so successful that it is being expanded to Navy base vehicles, Army base vehicles and Marine Corps base vehicles creating fuel independence for the military. There are some significant military applications for alternate energy especially when stationed on an island. Expansion of program is also being extended to the busses that operate in the Volcanoes National Park.

Not only is the fuel generating resource no-polluting and operated by renewable energy but also the fuel source for the vehicles it provides.

Hawaii is the only state in nation that manufactures its own synthetic natural gas. A byproduct within the synthetic gas is hydrogen. General Motors and The Gas Company of Hawaii have formed a partnership where GM will start shipping it's hydrogen fuel cell cars to Hawaii for sale and use. The Gas Company with over 1,000 miles of pipeline already laid will tap into the pipeline and run feeder lines to local gasoline stations where a high pressure hydrogen separator pump will be installed for refueling hydrogen fuel cell cars. The Gas Company expects to sell the hydrogen at or below regular gasoline prices. Hawaii stands to be in the position to surpass California, New York and Florida in implementing a statewide hydrogen refueling infrastructure by the year 2015, when the major automakers have stated that production H2 cars will be rolling out.

Better Place and the State of Hawaii and Hawaiian Electric Company(HECO) have entered into a signed agreement to build a statewide network if alternate energy electrical refueling stations for all electric cars Over 50,000 charging stations in parking lots, on the streets and 17 5-min battery swap out stations are ear marked for the Island of Oahu. Under a subscription program Better Place will sell the cars but own the batteries thus being responsible for toxic disposal. Currently GM, Ford, Chrysler, Honda, Nissan, Renault, Toyota, Tesla and Think North America have indicated Hawaii will be a prime market for their all electric cars and are gearing up shipments to the state as pre-sale reservations mount at the car dealerships. Hawaii car dealerships are seeing a banner year in sales.

HECO has announced discounted electrical rates for those owners of all electric cars charging their vehicles at night at home.

The South Korea Electric Automobile Manufacture CT&T announced plans to invest $200,000 million in an all electric car manufacturing plant in Honolulu, Hawaii employing up to 400 workers and producing 10,000 electric cars a year. CT&T cars have an expected MSRP of $8,000 to $20,000. The plant is expected to be constructed over the next two years.

State of Hawaii Energy Initiative is to reduce imported oil dependence 70% by year 2030 (30% alternate energy and 40% efficiency). Moving to alternate energy cars will reduce the efficiency by expected 40%.

Every year as new alternate energy projects come on line and more all electric or hydrogen fuel cell cars are introduced into the islands our electric bills have decreased.

Not like RI that is increasing its electric costs by opting for one of the most expensive and fully untested in the USA alternate energy resources. Hawaii chased the offshore wind companies out of the state!

While most of you debate the merits of government subsidies; and Sammy talks about hydrogen being created by dirty carbon polluting resources; how the alternate energy cars are for the rich with government tax breaks because the below $25,000 MSRP down to $8,000 MSRP is out of reach for the common ordinary person we in Hawaii will just go about our business of lowering our imported oil usage putting an estimated $7 billion back into the state’s economy and lowering our utility costs.

Posted by: Ken at August 25, 2010 9:26 PM

Obama's Tax the Rich Plan Won't Work

$7,500-per-vehicle tax credit that "The Rich" buyers get for purchasing a Tesla. And since plug-in hybrids like GM's Chevy Volt cost $40,000 — or about the price of an entry-level BMW — the program amounts to yet another set of subsidies for "The Rich" buyers with six-figure incomes....

"Obama's Tax the Rich Plan Won't Work, Tax Analysts Say"

Posted by: Sammy at August 25, 2010 10:25 PM

Facts about Idaho.

Idaho became a territory when President Abraham Lincoln signed the Territorial Act on March 4, 1863.

Idaho became the 43rd state of the United States on July 3, 1890 when President Benjamin Harrison signed the Act.

Idaho's nickname is “The Gem State.”

State Symbols

Motto: Esto Perpetua (“It is perpetuated” or “May it endure forever”). Appears on the State Seal which was designed by Emma Edwards Green—the only State seal designed by a woman. The seal was adopted by the legislature on March 14, 1891. Gov. Willey awarded her the honorarium for the design on March 5th.

Bird: Mountain Bluebird (1931)
Flower: Syringa (1931)
Song: Here We Have Idaho (1931)
Tree: Western White Pine (1935)
Gem: Star Garnet (1967)
Horse: Appaloosa (1975)
Fossil: Hagerman Horse Fossil (1988)
American Folk Dance: Square Dance (1989)
Fish: Cutthroat Trout (1990)
Insect: Monarch Butterfly (1992)
Fruit: Huckleberry (2000)
Vegetable: Potato (2002)
Raptor: Peregrine Falcon (2004)

Idaho's Elected Officials

Governor: C.L. "Butch" Otter
Lt. Governor: Brad Little
Secretary of State: Ben Ysursa
State Controller: Donna M. Jones
State Treasurer: Ron G. Crane
Attorney General: Lawrence Wasden
Superintendent of Public Instruction: Tom Luna
Idaho's Congressional Delegation
Senator: Mike Crapo
Senator: James E. Risch
Representative: Mike Simpson
Representative: Walt Minnick

Idaho's Geography

Land Area: 83,557 square miles (13th in land area)
Water Area: 880 square miles
Highest Point: 12,662 feet above sea level at the summit of Mt. Borah, located in the Lost River Range, Custer County
Lowest Point: 770 feet above sea level on the Snake River at Lewiston
Length: 479 miles
Width: 305 miles

Geographic Center: Settlement of Custer on the Yankee Fork River, Custer County

Number of Lakes: more than 2,000

Navigable Rivers: Snake, Coeur d'Alene, St. Joe, St. Maries, and Kootenai
Largest Lake: Lake Pend Oreille, 180 square miles

Temperature Extremes: Highest, 118° F at Orofino (July 28, 1934); Lowest, -60° F at Island Park Dam (January 18, 1943)

Population: 1,466,465 (2006 census estimates)

Posted by: Ralph at August 26, 2010 1:56 PM

Hi! Did not Dick Cheney throw down the gauntlet many moons ago- "If all you green folk want to save energy and drive heebrids well thats your own personal choice." Well- we gave the treasury away to the wealthiest among us by means of tax laws.... so... if they want to use their hard earned tax cuts on green cars....well whats your problem?

Posted by: David S at August 26, 2010 9:31 PM

David S,

That’s what I am trying to figure out too!

The MSRP of all electric cars capable of driving on the nation’s highways getting up to 100 mile per charge is currently a low of $20,000 (assembly line built) and up to over $100,000 (for high-performance custom hand built) but yet it seems some people are saying the $7,500 federal tax break for going with an alternate energy vehicle is designed for only the “rich”.

A $20,000 car can only be purchased by a “rich” person?????? Give me a break!!!!! What are you smoking or what pills are you popping?????????? Check the prices of regular gasoline engine cars currently on the market after you add in basic options!

Posted by: Ken at August 27, 2010 1:13 AM
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