NLPC Associate Fellow Mark Modica was interviewed by Gerri Willis on the Fox Business Network on August 6. Here’s a transcript:
Gerri Willis: Moving on to a story, I know you are going to love. “In Focus Tonight,” the Chevy Volt village. An entire town dedicated to the controversial taxpayer backed car that so happens to spontaneously combust in flames. The government is teaming up with the private sector to test out its green agenda by dumping these Chevy Volts on an entire community. And did I mention you are helping to pay for this? Joining me now is, Mark Modica with the National Legal and Policy Center. All right, Mark, what is going on here?
Mark Modica: Hi Gerri, yes, this is called the Pecan Street Partnership. Funded with $10.4 million of taxpayer money. Edmonds dubs it Chevy Volt ville. They are giving away not only the $7,500 federal tax credit, but an additional $7,500. So, $15,000 to buy a Chevy Volt, and this is supposed to end our reliance on foreign oil consumption and make for a greener world.
Gerri Willis: Make the world a happier place. Ah, yes. Well, here is actually what they said were their goals. According to the Pecan Street Corporation, who is in charge here, quote delivering reliable and affordable energy to a growing population and possibly eliminating the need to construct polluting power plants. Oooo, a bad thing.
Mark Modica: Yeah.
Gerri Willis: So, they are expecting everybody and their mother to go out and buy one of these things because they are getting a $7,500 tax credit? Is that it? Is that working?
Mark Modica: Well, they are adding an additional $7,500 because the $7,500 alone doesn’t seem to be cutting it. They sold a thousand eight forty nine which isn’t a big number. It really pales in comparison to your conventional vehicles, but now they are upping the ante, and making it $15,000. They are trying to just get a hundred on the road in this community. That is going to be at a cost of $1.5 million to taxpayers. But the thing is, this is going to do nothing to really help the oil consumption, or make for a greener planet. A hundred Volts isn’t going to do anything. It’s another waste of another one and a half million dollars. The total project is $10.4 million and the funny thing is, I think they are getting their electricity from a coal-powered plant nearby.
Gerri Willis: Of course they are. That really makes sense.
Mark Modica: Makes sense, right?
Gerri Willis: And nobody asked me whether I wanted this program or not, right? Nobody asks me whether they can spend my taxpayer dollars.
Mark Modica: Nah. It’s …
Gerri Willis: Go right ahead, Mark.
Mark Modica: …It’s really gotten ridiculous. Military is now buying Chevy Volts, the military is going green. They are paying $49 a gallon for biofuels. It has just gotten so crazy. There is another project. A $115 million for something called the Easy Project for free chargers for Chevy Volt owners and Nissan Leaf owners. A $115 million. It’s crazy.
Gerri Willis: It’s just like the budget is leaking our taxpayer dollars. So, here is…
Mark Modica: I don’t know where all the money is coming from.
Gerri Willis: …here is some of the things we’ve spent money on that haven’t paid off. A123 Systems, Abound Solar, Beacon Power, of course, energy, Evergreen Solar, Fisker, Solyndra. I mean the list goes on and on and on. And yet the bank for a buck just doesn’t seem to be there.
Mark Modica: No, this is doing — it’s really doing nothing. You can look at anyone of these projects. I kind of focus on EVs, there are two hundred and fifty million passenger vehicles on the road. Even if we get the President Obama’s goal of getting a million, it is a fractional reduction in oil consumption, and if he has his way, with making it a $10,000 subsidy, it will cost ten billion to reduce oil consumption by about point two percent.
Gerri Willis: Wow. That’s not what you call return on investment. Mark, thanks for coming in tonight.
Mark Modica: It’s not very efficient.
Gerri Willis: I appreciate your time. Thank you so much.
Mark Modica: Thanks so much, Gerri.