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Auto manufacturers Only Seem To Produce Nonoil Burning Cars When Forced To Do So

It was only a few years ago that Ford, Toyota and a few other automobile manufacturers began to produce a number of plug-in all electric cars such as electric Ford Escorts when California enacted some tough new air pollution rules. But then lawyers for the oil and auto industry sued the State Of California in court to overturn these tough air pollution rules, and companies like Ford and Toyota ordered owners of these electric cars to return them to the manufacturers and began crushing them down and destroying them, thus keeping polluting oil burning cars on the road when viable nonpolluting replacements were available. The oil industry and the auto industry conspired together to keep America hooked on oil.

But now that Detroit is facing a life or death financial struggle to survive, some companies like Ford are once again promising to market all-electric cars because the politicians in Washington want to hear forward-looking talk like this. Ford and other auto executives even rode to Washington in hybrid cars today in a show-event to soften up Washington's hearts like the pathetic panhandler holding out the tin cup only to fuel his own addictive appetites.

This is unfortunately the way of Detroit and the auto industry in general including the imports. The technology is there to produce nonpolluting, and basically trouble-free electric cars that could have reduced America's dependence on oil, but instead both the auto and oil industry only wanted to keep America buying oil and used tons of money to pay lawyers to beat down any environmental laws that pushed America towards using less oil.

Now Ford claims that by 2011 it will once again market an all-electric model, and expressed concerns that it will take until 2011 for American auto sales to rebound, expecting the depression in auto sales to drag on for at least that long.

Some states are almost willing accomplices in all this in that they have licensing laws that make it difficult to register all-electric vehicles as well. There are some all-electric moped scooters that use lightweight lithium batteries that only have to be replaced once every seven years, can go 55mph, and can travel between 55 to 75 miles per charge, but some states make it very difficult to register these vehicles. Licensing laws in many states seem bent towards keeping high oil burning vehicles on the road where complicated laws deter many persons from buying such vehicles.

Why does America have such a high appetite for oil that has created both trade deficit problems, air quality problems, and even helped to drive oil prices up until the recession drove prices back down once again? Lawyers for the auto and oil industry have often been just as important to these industries as actually building new vehicles.

Unfortunately Detroit only seems to respond with nonpolluting vehicles when really forced to. And when wiggle room remains, squirm from such duties or else use lawyers to escape. It's all a very disappointing message from an industry that is now asking the taxpayer for a big life preserver to survive. Damned be the public, except when this industry is standing on the cusp of financial damnation themselves. Then the boys in Detroit are suddenly the good guys.

Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!

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Comments (20)


"Why does America have such a high appetite for oil that has created both trade deficit problems, air quality problems, and even helped to drive oil prices up until the recession drove prices back down once again?"

Well, I think the answer is pretty easy. Our entire automobile infrastructure is based on the assumption that automobiles will run on internal combustion engines. And frankly, although gasoline certainly has its share of problems, it is the most cost-effective and efficient fuel that we have for automobiles. And (as I just said) we already have the infrastructure in place for large-scale refining and distribution of gasoline.

One of the best pieces on the subject of alternative fuel vehicles was written by Steven Den Beste a few years back. I will refer you to it: http://denbeste.nu/cd_log_entries/2002/07/Carbonemissions.shtml.

Den Beste is an engineer, and approaches the problem of alternative fuel vehicles (primarily solar and hydrogen fuel cell) from an engineering standpoint based on the total amount of energy that would be required -- specifically, how much energy would be consumed during the generation and distribution of electricity.

He concludes that the inefficiencies inherent in the generation and transmission of electricity, and in the charging and discharging of batteries, would render such a plan far too costly in terms of financial and ecological impact. Hydrogen is also problematic, because refining it would also consume a tremendous amount of energy.

The idea of an "oogedy boogedy" Big Oil conspiracy has been around for a long time, and it certainly makes a nice ripe target for our frustrations whenever fuel costs rise. But it seems to me that we are still a long way from finding a replacement energy source for transportation that can be implemented and scaled efficiently enough to completely replace gasoline and diesel fuel.

We can be hopeful that this summer's high fuel prices gave Americans the dose of reality that they needed, and will cause everyone to rethink the long-term feasibility of large, inefficient vehicles. In my opinion, the most reasonable short-term energy goal would be to increase average fuel economy across the board, rather than attempt to eliminate fossil fuels for vehicles.


The reason they only produce 'non-polluting' cars when forced to is that nobody wants to buy one for what it costs to make it. Would you pay $100,000 or so for a car that only goes 40 miles, then has to sit 8 hours being charged? And where exactly do you think the electricity to power these 'non-polluting' wonders comes from? Probably the eeevil coal burning power plants that The Messiah-Elect and Slow Joe Biden want to bankrupt.

Lee Ward:

Ah, yes - 'bankrupting the coal industry' - one of the many right wing lies that lost the election for the lying right wing fatheads.


Mike, you are correct about the technology for better gas mileage in vehicles. They have had it for many years. The question is why haven't they used this technology?

Right now Ford has a 65+MPG, 5 passenger vehicle, diesel powered, that they won't sell in the USA. Why isn't anyone talking about that. Remember the VW Rabbit, back in the late 70's it was getting over 50+MPG. Why did that auto disappear?

Some inventor in (I think) Germany has a proto-type auto that runs on compressed air. Another person took that idea, added a small gas engine to run a compressor, and was getting 100+MPG. But why don't we hear about that?

Until the management of the big 3 starts to produce and experiment with vehicles like this, why in the hell should our tax money bail them out?

And Tim, how do you know, except for BS GOP talking points, that the President Elect is going to bankrupt any company? Guess your chrystal ball is telling you about the future, right? But you are correct in stating that nobody is going to buy a car that will only travel 40 miles. Out in the Western states, towns are further apart then they are back east. That is why the 55 MPH speed limit sucks.

But when almost every elected critter in DC is in the pockets of corporate America, don't think any changes for gas mileage will come about. The critters won't take a paycut, will they?

John Stark:

"bankrupt the coal industry."


"So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it's just that it will bankrupt them because they're going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that's being emitted."

No, that won't bankrupt the coal industry directly, but when Obama's plan to destroy their market (no new coal plants, and the existing ones will wear out) kicks in, then the industry will go right down the tubes.

Obama's plan is to get rid of one major source of energy that is entirely domestically sourced.


Allen, as John Stark pointed out, I used the Messiah-Elect's own words. But you're right - I don't believe a word he says either.


Ahh, the lying continues... and John Stark appears to be a chronic liar, so it's no surprise that he's still pushing this lie.

Obama's comment was taken out of context. Building an old-technology coal power plant will be prohibitively expensive under either McCain or Obama's cap and trade proposals... so the lie that this is an Obama's plan has been fully vetted and exposed.

The solution which Obama and Mcain both want is to build clean-burning coal plants - but the liars don't want you to know that - that's why they rolled out the "shocking news" two days before election day - even though the quote from Obama had been out in the public since January, 2008.

That was the second lie - that the "shocking news had just been uncovered" - which was foisted by Newsbusters - the right wing liar's trumpet of choice. The audio had been released at the time the SF newspaper gave their endorsement of Obama in January.


Here's our post from January 29, 2008 that linked to the audio interview of Obama which was SHOCKINGLY DISCOVERED (pant pant) by the right wing lie machine just 2 days before election day.


John Stark:

Further quotes from Obama in January 2008:

"The only thing I've said with respect to coal, I haven't been some coal booster. What I have said is that for us to take coal off the table as a ideological matter as opposed to saying if technology allows us to use coal in a clean way, we should pursue it.

So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can.

It's just that it will bankrupt them."


Nothing has changed. You still are ignoring the context of cap and trade - and ignoring that McCain also favors cap and trade that would also make an old-tech coal plant uber-expensive.

You can argue against cap and trade if you choose....

Or you can argue that there should be no pollution limits placed on domestic energy sources...

Oh wait - that would require thinking and doing more than repeating 6 week old right wing lies... I guess repeating the same old crap is all you're capable of, eh?

Keep trying, J, there's bound to be a pony in there somewhere. And if you repeat the same lies over and over... heh - look at how far it got Sarah Palin!

Lee Ward:

Exposing the lies about Obama and coal - the lies told two days before election day:

SF Chronicle:

Lies, Half Truths and Contradictions: Chronicle ''Hidden'' Audio on Obama

It's not true.

But the Drudge Report, the Republican National Committee and apparently even GOP VP candidate Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin fell for completely fabricated news from a shady website called Newsbusters today suggesting the San Francisco Chronicle has ''hidden'' audio with Sen. Barack Obama regarding his statements on coal.

''Barack Obama explained his plan to the San Francisco Chronicle this year,'' she told a rally in Ohio Sunday. ''He said that sure, if the industry wants to build coal-fired power plants, then they can go ahead and try, he says, but they can do it only in a way that will bankrupt the coal industry.''

She added, ''And you've got to listen to the tape.''

''Why is the audiotape just now surfacing?'' Palin asked the crowd, according to a report from CBS News. Someone in the crowd shouted, ''Liberal media!'

Let's be very clear: the Chronicle did not, and has never, hidden any interview, audio or video, of Obama from its readers.

The truth: the paper's January editorial board session with Obama included comments about coal. The entire interview has been in the public domain, available on line to the public -- and to the McCain campaign -- since early January.

''How can anyone suggest that we hid an interview that we did, immediately put up on the web -- and advertised to our readers,'' said editorial page editor John Diaz Sunday, regarding his hosting of Obama at the session. ''We promoted it like like hell...and I'm sure the Clinton campaign and the McCain campaign scrubbed it. You can still find the whole 48 minutes and 33 seconds on line.''

Obama's campaign responded to Palin's comments today, noting correctly that the wide-ranging interview also included the Illinois Senator's comments that the idea of eliminating coal plants was ''an illusion.''

Apparently neither campaign, until now, ever felt there was much worth mentioning regarding Obama's coal comments. But it's now two days before the election and McCain is in a do-or-die battle in Pennsylvania and Ohio.

A final note: the shoddy Newsbusters blog has been caught in the past simply fabricating news regarding the Chronicle's coverage. Our paper has demanded corrections for their fiction, but to no avail.

And yet the Newsbuster's lies are what the right wing liars continue to quote, link, etc...


You're right, Lee. It's not hidden. It's right out in the open. You can deny all you want that the Messiah-Elect said what he said, but the fact remains that he said it. Doesn't matter who shone the light of day on it, or when. He said it. Listen to his actual words, using his very own God-like voice. HE SAID IT. And his context was very clear - they can try to build the new, clean burning plants that we say we want, but we will make sure that doing so will put them out of business. But that's alright, Lee. And maybe, as you seem to believe, he doesn't really mean it. But it's no problem for you if he lies to you - he's got a big shiny D after his name.

John Stark:

Actually, it could be quite entertaining to repeat some of the things that Mr. Ward said about Obama back when Mr. Ward was strongly supporting Hillary Clinton. If Mr. Ward won't believe the audio of Obama himself saying things, maybe he'll recognize his own words?

Obama said that his administration will bankrupt ANYONE who tries to build a new coal plant. With no new plants, the existing ones will eventually shut down (either through normal lifespan or increasing regulations) and the coal market will contract practically out of existence. So kiss the coal industry goodbye.

Lee Ward:

It'd be even more amusing if John Stark was able to post a comment without lying through his teeth. Sadly, that isn't the case.

Barack Obama has not "said that his administration will bankrupt ANYONE who tries to build a new coal plant." That's just total bullshit.

He did state that anyone building an old-tech coal plant that would be subject to the Cap and Trade program that both Obama and McCain favored would find it cost prohibitive - which is a fact, not a threat - a fact whether either Obama or McCain had been elected.

But "John Stark" is incapable of telling the truth -- so tell us "John Stark" - why is it that you are so obsessed with lying on Wizbang Blue's comment threads?

Don't tell me that I've somehow offended you in the past, creating yet another troll to haunt our halls?

John Stark:

Mr. Ward, I have reprinted Mr. Obama's own words.

"Let me sort of describe my overall policy.

What I've said is that we would put a cap and trade system in place that is as aggressive, if not more aggressive, than anybody else's out there.

I was the first to call for a 100% auction on the cap and trade system, which means that every unit of carbon or greenhouse gases emitted would be charged to the polluter. That will create a market in which whatever technologies are out there that are being presented, whatever power plants that are being built, that they would have to meet the rigors of that market and the ratcheted down caps that are being placed, imposed every year.

So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it's just that it will bankrupt them because they're going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that's being emitted.

That will also generate billions of dollars that we can invest in solar, wind, biodiesel and other alternative energy approaches.

The only thing I've said with respect to coal, I haven't been some coal booster. What I have said is that for us to take coal off the table as a ideological matter as opposed to saying if technology allows us to use coal in a clean way, we should pursue it.

So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can.

It's just that it will bankrupt them." (January 8, 2008, interview with the San Francisco Chronicle)

From that, it is clear that Obama opposes any new coal plants, period. So there will be no new coal plants built.

That means that existing plants will not be replaced. Once they reach their usable lifespan, they will be shut down.

As those plants go offline, the market for coal for powerplants will continue to decline. As the most common use of coal is for generating electricity, that means that the overall market for coal will continue to decline -- and eventually perish.

If I am mistaken in that conclusion, I would appreciate it if you could demonstrate where my error lies. I certainly intend to deception, and find myself resenting being called a liar based on what appears my willingness to disagree with the host.

John Stark:

Mr. Hooson, you are the author of this piece. I would appreciate if you could mediate this matter. I understand that your colleague has a predeliction for banning people, and I would implore you to not permit this on your discussion thread.

Lee Ward:

Mr Stark is reading Obama's mind - that explains it! He did the same thing in regard Reverend Wright - Stark kept deciding what Obama was thinking and then calling those theories of his "the only possible explanations"....

And that was the gayest begging I've ever seen from a troll.

And something tells me that you know a lot about banning - and I suspect you've been banned from this blog before.

Am I right, "John Stark"??? lol... My money says you're been banned from here and are now using a phony alias to comment.

Do you deny it?

John Stark:

Mr. Ward, I put forth Obama's words. I put forth my own interpretation of what they mean. You offered no alternative explanation, just vitriol and aspersions against me. I have put forth every effort to remain civil and polite, and will remain so.

But I have no desire to engage in bickering. If that is the tone you wish to foster, then I will gladly end the "discussion" if continuing it means you will grow more and more incensed.

To me, Mr. Obama's words were crystal-clear. Apparently they are not. I will seek elsewhere for an alternate interpretation, as you seem unwilling to proffer yours. Perhaps Mr. Hooson, the author of the piece, will respond. After all, it is his article, and therefore his right and duty and obligation to determine how he will moderate the discussion it engenders.

Lee Ward:

So then you're not denying that you're a troll who was previously banned from commenting on this blog?

You have the appearance of being a pathological liar, John Stark.

But you've been caught. Run along like a good little troll now, and do not post on this blog again. You're done here.

You're done - move along. You used your real email address on four of your "John Stark" comments, so I know exactly who you are. You were banned from this blog a year ago, and you've repeatedly attempted to circumvent that ban with lies and deceit -- even now you refuse to admit that you were previously banned.


John Stark:

I'm answering your accusations against me the same way you're answering my comments on the topic -- ignoring them. And I don't see your name as author of this piece or having any kind of authority that says you can impose any kind of control over the comments of another author's article. I'll cheerfully abstain from your articles, sir, but I will not recognize your authority to control who comments or does not comment on your peers' articles.


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