Bob Lutz Argues that Electric Cars Are Vital to Defense
By Jayne O'donnell
In Washington, where most everything is viewed through the prism of politics, electric cars are a product of the “left wing, green movement” that trigger a visceral negative reaction among Rush Limbaugh-loving, Bill O’Reilly fans. Or at least that’s the take of former General Motors vice chairman Bob Lutz, who takes both credit for the Chevrolet Volt and the umbrage at the drubbing it’s taken at the hands of his fellow conservatives.
Electric cars aren’t just another wacky idea embraced by liberals—they’re essential to national security because so much money and military force is focused on protecting Middle East oil supplies, Lutz, the outspoken ex-Marine fighter pilot, argues.
Reinforced by three other high-powered former Marines, Lutz spoke on a panel this week at the right-leaning Hudson Institute. The panel discussion was cosponsored by the nonpartisan policy group Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) and included the cochairmen of SAFE’s energy-security leadership council, FedEx CEO Frederick Smith and former Marine Corps Commandant Gen. P.X. Kelley.
The Unites States is now dependent on foreign oil for 50 percent to 60 percent of our fuel consumption, said former Marine Gen. James Conway, a SAFE security council member.
“Our enemies recognize that,” he pointed out.
The four are in favor of aggressively expanding domestic oil production and—despite their free-market pedigrees—incentivizing both the manufacture and purchase of electric vehicles to reduce the “stranglehold” oil has on the transportation sector.
It was a kinder crowd at the Hudson Institute than Lutz and his Volt get on the conservative networks. But even when reminded that it was one of their own—former President George W. Bush—who put electric- and hybrid-vehicle tax breaks in place, they appeared unconvinced of any wisdom to the moves.
If he were “emperor,” the only office he says he’s qualified for based on his foreign birth, Lutz says he would raise the price of fuel price by 25 cents a gallon per year, which would convince people to buy small cars. But he recognizes the chance of holding that office is as good as that of any Congress increasing the tax on fuel, so he says tax incentives are the only solution.
So while such “government subsidies” may be a hard pill for free marketers to swallow, Lutz says they “will have to suffice.”
Which companies built hugh gas gusseling cars like the expedition and excursions?Ford.
Blame the consumers for not buying small efficient cars? Which companies built hugh gas gusseling cars like the expedition and excursions? Which companies didn't have efficient cars when gas prices hit mid $4/per gallon the first time around and almost went into bankrupcy? Look in the mirror before blaming the consumers and stop asking for handouts. Wasn't the government bailout enough? Instead produce better cars at competitive price. The Volt is a nice car but $15k nicer than the Prius? Maybe if US company executives didn't take millions of dollars in salary and bonuses it can be competitive.
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