It’s been another year of unwarranted enthusiasm for Tesla Motors and CEO Elon Musk, who parlayed that exuberance for his unprofitable company into a $1.3 billion incentives package from the state of Nevada.
But despite that legislatively unanimous award from three months ago, and a stock price that has flown high for most of the year, there are signs that the shine over the luxury electric automaker is beginning to dull.
Perhaps the most noteworthy skepticism has arisen from popular automotive Web site Jalopnik, which otherwise has been a fairly reliable (but not robotically so) cheerleader for Tesla. An end-of-year article written by blogger Damon Lavrinc recounts the automaker’s legacy of non-fulfillment and asks, “What will Tesla and Elon Musk over-promise next?”
“So where are those battery-swapping stations Tesla promised?” Lavrinc wonders. “Or its big push into the energy storage biz? Didn’t we hear something about the … Read More ➡
Here is a letter I sent today to C. Douglas McMillon, Walmart President and CEO:
We ask that Walmart end its financial support of Al Sharpton and his organization, the National Action Network (NAN).
The cold-blooded murder of two New York City police officers, Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, follows weeks of Sharpton’s vilification of law enforcement personnel.
As you know, Walmart has helped bankroll Sharpton for years. Most recently, the company was a sponsor of Sharpton’s 60th birthday party in New York City, which reportedly was a fundraiser for NAN that raised a million dollars.
We have repeatedly raised the issue of your support for Sharpton, including at the Walmart annual meeting. You cannot lay any claim to corporate social responsibility as long as you write checks to Sharpton.
This is not the first time that violence and loss of life have followed Sharpton’s agitation, such as in … Read More ➡
The death toll for General Motors’ faulty ignition switch victims continues to rise with the last reported number being 42. There has been speculation that the death count is significantly higher, as safety advocate Clarence Ditlow has written to GM to request an expansion of efforts to uncover victims of accidents resulting from defective GM vehicles.
GM has known about the ignition switch defect for years and failed to recall the deadly vehicles for almost five years after the Obama Administration took over the company in June of 2009. President Obama’s Auto Task Force guided the company through a manipulated bankruptcy process that favored political allies like the UAW over other creditors as new management and board members were appointed by the Administration. We now must question the perceived “success” of the GM bailout and ask if a conventional bankruptcy process could have saved some of the lives that were … Read More ➡
Today, we requested that the House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform undertake an “independent” investigation of the General Motors ignition switch recall delay, in light of newly obtained emails by lawyers suing GM.
Those emails suggest that the Treasury may have timed its final sale of GM shares to precede public knowledge of the ignition switch fiasco. They also cast doubt on GM CEO Mary Barra’s previous account of what she knew and when she knew it.
Here is the text of a letter I sent today to Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), in photo, the incoming Chairman of the Oversight & Government Reform Committee:
At a February 2010 Oversight Committee hearing on the risk from Toyota gas pedals, you asked a remarkably prescient question: “Does the government treat Toyota the same as it does all other automakers?”
Then-Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood was unable to explain why the … Read More ➡
Global warming alarmists have spent time and money that spans decades and has cost billions of dollars, yet all their tactics and messaging haven’t moved the public-concern meter above “who cares?” So-called “climate change” does not even register near the top of environmental problems that most Americans worry about – much less among all policy issues – according to Gallup polling.
That doesn’t mean the fear-mongers have given up, of course, as the latest effort by environmental pressure group Ceres illustrates. The activist group – which exerts its influence via shareholder activism (claiming $10 trillion in assets) in pursuit of their definition of a “sustainable” global economy – last week sent a letter endorsed by 223 companies to President Obama, in support of EPA’s controversial proposed standard for existing power plants to limit carbon dioxide emissions. Some of the largest and most recognized corporations signed on, including Adidas, … Read More ➡
Three years ago NLPC reported that Google would abandon its two-year effort to produce “Renewable Energy Cheaper Than Coal” (RE<C), a frivolous exercise that came at the height of the Obama-driven fervor to create “green” jobs with visions of stimulus-nourished wind and solar projects.
The company’s Green Energy Czar Bill Weihl in 2009 had boasted to Reuters that he expected “within a few years” that his people would be able to demonstrate technology that produced renewable energy cheaper than coal.
“It is even odds, more or less,” said Weihl, a Time magazine “hero of the environment,” at the time. “In three years, we could have multiple megawatts of plants out there.
Weihl left Google shortly after the company killed RE<C, but not before the company poured more than $850 million into renewable energy ventures. But now two engineers who worked on the project, who … Read More ➡
Documents obtained by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) from the Department of Justice provide “hard evidence” that former Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-WV) should have been prosecuted after NLPC exposed his questionable financial dealings, and triggered a Justice Department investigation.
CREW executive director Melanie Sloan told Politico yesterday, “It was clear the Justice Department should have indicted Mollohan.”
Mollohan was defeated for re-election in 2010 in a Democratic primary. His ethics woes were a key issue in the campaign.
Although we have not yet had the opportunity to study the underlying documents, CREW has released a very concise summary of their own review. The CREW summary confirms the key accusations made by NLPC against Mollohan. It is also a serious indictment of the Justice Department for failing to prosecute Mollohan.
The investigation began in February 2006 after NLPC filed a 500-page Complaint with the U.S. Attorney for the … Read More ➡
General Motors announced today that CEO Mary Barra will not attend a ceremony on November 17 at which she was scheduled to receive an award from the National Women’s History Museum (NWHM).
On Monday, we asked the museum to rescind the planned award to Barra in light of questions about her “credibility and veracity” in the wake of Sunday’s report that GM ordered 500,000 ignition switches from a supplier almost two months before it reported the safety defect to the government.
Earlier today, our request was seconded by the GM Survivors group. On behalf of 260 family and friends of GM recall delay victims, Laura Christian of Maryland wrote, “While we recognize that Mrs. Barra is the first woman to be named CEO of an American auto company, her first year in this position is only credited with one record so far – a record number of vehicle safety recalls … Read More ➡
The evidence continues to mount that General Motors has been less than transparent, if not outright culpable, regarding its ignition switch recall fiasco. As the death toll mounts (from the original 13 casualties reported by GM to the just revised 32 deaths) for victims involved in crashes of GM vehicles with defective ignition switches, new evidence has emerged that GM actually ordered replacement parts for the defective switches a full two months before they even reported a problem.
A Wall Street Journal article published on Sunday unveiled the damning evidence that GM placed an order for half a million replacement parts for defective ignition switches in mid-December of 2013. GM’s timeline of events points to February of 2014 as the time when they decided on recalling the vehicles. Mary Barra has stated that she was not aware of the issue until around that time, when GM notified the National Highway … Read More ➡
Today I sent the following letter to Dr. Gretchen Green, the Acting Chair of the National Women’s History Museum:
We ask the National Women’s History Museum (NWHM) to withdraw its planned award to General Motors CEO Mary Barra.
As you know, Barra is scheduled to receive the Katharine Graham Living Legacy Award on November 17 as part of your annual de Pizan Honors at The Mead Center for American Theater at Arena Stage in Washington, DC.
Barra has indeed made history – of the wrong kind.
Just three months ago, she sat in front of Congressional Committees and desperately tried to avoid answering questions about the negligence and cover up regarding an ignition switch defect. As Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) said, “It goes beyond unacceptable. I believe this is criminal.” Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) said, “Even under the ‘New GM’ banner, the company waited nine months to take action after … Read More ➡