VIDEO: Treasury Rejects Sale of GM Stake

NLPC Associate Fellow Mark Modica was interviewed last night on Fox Business Network’s Willis Report. Here’s a transcript:

Cheryl Casone: Government Motors. Trying to shed its ties to Uncle Sam once and for all, pushing the sale of the U.S. stake in the company altogether. But saying goodbye is hard to do. The government’s digging in its heals, saying taxpayers would have faced a massive multibillion dollar loss. Joining me now with more is Mark Modica, associate fellow for the National Legal and Policy Center. This was a bad deal. I mean this was a bad deal for the taxpayers. Of course, Treasury said no to it.

Mark Modica: Hi, Cheryl, well, they have been saying no. Actually, they could have first sold the stake almost a year and a half ago when share price was over thirty, and we heard the same story. They’re not going to … Read More ➡

Nissan Integrity at Stake in Leaf Owners’ Battery Test

Nissan Leaf photoIn what looks like an attempt to avoid a potentially costly and disastrous recall of its taxpayer-funded electric vehicles, Nissan has dismissed the concerns of its Leaf customers in Arizona and other hot states by claiming the apparent loss of battery capacity is “normal.”

Owners of the company’s dismal selling plug-in have banded together to collectively test their vehicles and see just how “normal” their loss of “bars” on their power indicators are.

Over the weekend twelve Leaf owners – led by EV advocate and Leaf owner Tony Williams – were to conduct an extended range test in Phoenix, according to the Web site Green Car Reports. In July NLPC reported that Nissan has been dealing with complaints from mostly Southwestern U.S. owners of the Leaf, who say their vehicles have lost range capacity, which were publicized on the discussion board Web site MyNissanLeaf.com. Carla Bailo, a Nissan … Read More ➡

GM Admits There’s No Market for Chevy Volt – Updated

Volt and AkersonA Reuters’ article earlier this week created quite a buzz when it suggested that General Motors was losing $49,000 on every Chevy Volt sold. While many continue to debate just how much money GM loses on the politically-motivated car, a more important story on the Volt was reported by Automotive.com last week which explained the increase in August sales numbers for the vehicle. The piece exposes how GM (along with taxpayers) is heavily subsidizing leases and even gets an embarrassing admission from GM on the struggling Volt that, “The whole idea is we’re creating a market.” And this blockbuster, “There is no plug-in market.”

The quotes came from GM spokesman, Jim Cain, whom I spoke with earlier this week. Mr. Cain told me that a full two-thirds of August sales were attributed to leases. This is about three times the lease rate for the overall industry. Some customers are able … Read More ➡

VIDEO: Obama’s Ridiculous Fuel Economy Standards

NLPC Associate Fellow Mark Modica is interviewed on 9/5/12 about new vehicular fuel economy standards on the Fox Business Network. Host is Gerri Willis. Here is a transcript:

GERRI WILLIS: No summer blues for car dealerships. Consumers driving up August auto sales 20% higher from a year ago. But will the White House’s new fuel efficiency standards put the auto industry’s progress into reverse? With more, Mark Modica, Associate Fellow for the National Legal and Policy Center. Welcome back to the show, Mark, great to see you. I want to show folks these efficiency standards. They are sort of shocking. So, right now 29.7 miles per gallon is what is required. By 2016, two years from now. 35, by 2025, 54.5. What do you make of that?

MARK MODICA: Well, it is quite a jump, and it’s going to cost consumers. Estimates are that this will raise the prices … Read More ➡

Taxpayer-Funded Electric Vehicle Maker Needs IPO Cash to Survive

Frito Lay Electric TruckSmith Electric Vehicles, which is using $32 million in taxpayer stimulus to practically give away its delivery trucks to corporations like Frito-Lay (owned by PepsiCo), Coca-Cola and Staples, is hemorrhaging money anyway and now is looking to an initial public offering to pay off debts and try to survive.

The Kansas City Star reported last week that Smith cut its production expectations and warning it is running low on cash, citing filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company announced nearly a year ago it would seek $125 million through an IPO, but now says it hopes to raise about $76 million at a stock price of $16 to $18, according to a Kansas City Business Journal report.

Good luck with that. The Journal said the revenues generated “would help pay off a $16.5 million bridge loan, $1.3 million related to a legal settlement involving … Read More ➡

Chinese Solar Company Learns Cronyism with Harry Reid

Harry Reid photoA solar company project that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid successfully lured to Clark County, Nev. – where his son Rory was a former commissioner and now lobbies on behalf of the Chinese company that owns it – now wants the dominant utility in the state to buy its electricity.

So does Senator Reid, who is frustrated because every component to make ENN Energy Group move forward with the project is in place except for NV Energy, the state utility, to enter an agreement to buy the electricity. For the most part wind and solar farms don’t get built unless there is assurance that utilities will accept their power.

At an annual energy summit that Reid hosts, he said in a July 30 online conference that ENN “would start tomorrow if NV Energy would purchase the power,” according to a Reuters report. Adding that the utility controls 95 percent of … Read More ➡

Obama Misrepresents Auto Bailout– GM DID Go Bankrupt

We have heard the claims over and over again from the Obama campaign; the President “saved” General Motors and Mitt Romney said “let Detroit go bankrupt.” The clear implication is that GM never went through the bankruptcy process that Romney suggested. Here’s news for voters who didn’t pay attention to how, exactly, Obama “saved” GM; $50 billion dollars of taxpayer money was given to GM to get them through a manipulated bankruptcy process. Replacing the word bankrupted with saved does not change the facts. And the fact is, GM DID go bankrupt.

The media has not questioned the clearest example of misrepresentation of facts by one of the presidential candidates. This one is not debatable, the court dockets exist. Not only did GM go bankrupt, but the Obama Administration used taxpayer money to manipulate the bankruptcy process and assure that political friends in the UAW received favorable treatment compared to … Read More ➡

God and Jerusalem Crash DNC Auto Bailout Party

VillaralgosaThe Democratic National Convention continued to celebrate the General Motors’ bankruptcy and auto bailouts last night. Guests at the party included union leaders Bob King, President of the UAW and AFL-CIO President, Richard Trumka, both of whom gave speeches at the event. Union members cheered and waved their UAW signs at the affair as President Obama was repeatedly given credit for “saving” GM and the American auto industry. The fact that GM, along with Chrysler, went bankrupt was not mentioned. The only time the word “bankrupt” was used was to condemn Republican Presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, for wanting to let GM go bankrupt. Democrats seem to be in denial that GM actually did go bankrupt.

In a highly scripted presentation, the convention played upon the theme that the auto bailouts had the goal of saving middle-class jobs. The truth is that the goal was to preserve UAW jobs and benefits; … Read More ➡

Auto Bailout is a FAILURE

GM/ObamaTonight, the Democratic National Convention will reportedly highlight the “success” of the auto bailout.  Michelle Malkin comments in a column today, and quotes NLPC Associate Fellow Mark Modica:

The claims that GM paid back its taxpayer-funded loans “in full” – a story peddled in campaign ads narrated by Hollywood actor Tom Hanks – were debunked by the Treasury Department’s TARP watchdog this summer. GM still owes nearly $30 billion of the $50 billion it received, and its lending arm still owes nearly $15 billion of the more than $17 billion it received. Bailout watchdog Mark Modica of the National Legal and Policy Center adds: “In addition to U.S. taxpayers anteing up, Canada put in over $10 billion, and GM was relieved of about $28 billion of bondholder obligations as UAW claims were protected. That’s an improvement of almost $90 billion to the balance sheet, and the company still lags

Read More ➡

China Can’t Compete in Solar Either

solar panelsAs U.S. solar companies struggled, quit the business or outright failed in recent years, the blame has been the same: “We can’t compete with China;” “They manufacture panels far cheaper than us;” “They dump their cheap products in our country;” and “China understands the future of renewables and we need to catch up.”

That excuse soon won’t fool people any more, according to a London Telegraph article from Wednesday.

“China’s big five firms are all reporting disastrous trading and heavily indebted balance sheets,” the newspaper reported. “At the end of the first quarter, JA Solar listed debt and liabilities of $1.5 billion, Trina Solar had debts of $1.08 billion, and Yingli had debts of $3.44 billion.” 

In addition another highly regarded company, Suntech, faces potentially huge payouts related to possible fraud and has $3.58 million in debt. The fifth company, LDK, is being kept afloat by the Chinese government … Read More ➡