Over at Grist, David Roberts noted, “GM has been, and continues to be, a strongly reactionary force in American energy politics, thwarting progress at every juncture… the company, with Lutz’s vocal backing, has been a long-time opponent of any boost in U.S. fuel efficiency standards. Even now, as the Minnesota legislature considers signing on to California’s tailpipe standards, GM is working behind the scenes to stop them. Arizona has provisionally decided to adopt the standards, and will finalize them on March 3, but GM is leading a last-ditch, behind-closed-doors effort to stop it.”
Mary Hunt chimed in at In Women We Trust, asking, “Why would I support a company with such an idiot at the top of it? Especially when he goes on to say "I’m motivated more by the desire to replace imported oil than by the CO2…" Wait a minute, isn’t this the same company that killed the electric car?”
Lutz tried to douse the fires on his blog, claiming, “My opinion doesn’t matter.” He urged critics to look at what the company is doing on the ground.
“General Motors is dedicated to the removal of cars and trucks from the environmental equation, period. And, believe it or don’t: So am I! It’s the right thing to do, for us, for you and, yes, for the planet. My goal is to take the automotive industry out of the debate entirely. GM is working on just that – and we’re going to keep working on it — via E85, hybrids, hydrogen and fuel cells, and the electrification of the automobile.”
That may be their goal, but I attended several presentations by GM executives at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit last month, and they gave far more lip service to their big gas guzzlers – Hummers, Cadillacs, light trucks and SUVs – than they gave to true energy-saving cars. And even the vehicles they trumpeted as energy-saving, like the 24/32 mpg Malibu hybrid, don’t compare to the fuel efficiency of the 50-mpg Toyota Prius.
In light of today’s news that gas prices could hit budget-busting $4 a gallon by spring, and increasing research that the polar ice caps are melting beyond repair, General Motors should not only embrace climate change as a real motivating force for industrial innovation, but do everything possible to achieve vehicle fuel-efficiency gains that actually save Americans money and generate far less CO2.
And that’s not a crock of “s**t”.