UAW Bonuses Add Insult to Injury

Last night, NLPC President Peter Flaherty criticized GM’s bonuses to United Auto Workers while the company is stil deep in the hole to taxpayers. He appeared on CNN’s Situation Room. Here’s a transcript:

Candy Crowley: New evidence that General Motors has made a big financial comeback after taxpayers bailed out the auto giant a few years ago. The company proudly announced it has posted record profits, but critics aren’t happy about the way GM is spending that money. Here’s our Lisa Sylvester.

Lisa Sylvester: Hi there, Candy. Well, all three U.S. automakers are back from the brink. GM had a very profitable year in 2011 with its North American operations. Now the question is, though, should those profits be shared with the workers, even though U.S. taxpayers are still on the hook for the company?

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Lisa Sylvester (voice-over): November 2008, the CEOs of the big three … Read More ➡

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After Layoffs, Execs Get Big Raises at Taxpayer-Funded A123

A123 logoA taxpayer-funded electric vehicle battery company, that is considered in great danger due to its dependency on troubled EV company Fisker Automotive, has awarded its top executives big salary increases despite a steep downward trajectory in its stock price.

Massachusetts-based A123 Systems — which received $279.1 million in stimulus money from the Department of Energy, and up to $135 million in incentives from the State of Michigan — boosted the base salaries of two vice presidents and its chief financial officer on February 8.

Chief Financial Officer David Prystash was bumped 27 percent to $380,000; VP of Energy Solutions Robert Johnson’s base salary increased 51 percent from his 2010 level to $400,000; and VP of Automotive Systems Jason Forcier saw his pay rise 32 percent from 2010, to $350,000. The news was first reported by the Boston Web site of Citybizlist.com, which obtained the information from an A123 SEC filingRead More ➡

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Energy Dept. Makes More Bad Bets with Taxpayer Money

Chu photoAs the U.S. government Venture Capitalist-in-Chief (and President) Barack Obama and his Department of Energy investment guru (and Energy Secretary) Steven Chu pour other peoples’ money into their favorite “clean” technology schemes, private backers appear to be following them off the cliff, “as publicly traded battery makers watched their stocks tank and their businesses stumble,” according to a Dow Jones report late last month.

According to a Dow Jones-owned industry tracker called VentureSource, private investors put $372.7 million into 14 battery deals over the first three quarters of 2011. Whether they would have transferred so much cash into the otherwise shaky enterprises, without the government leading the way, is doubtful at best. But since the Obama administration wants to create “Green jobs” with a new energy economy, the fools have rushed in, ignoring the fact that government manipulation of industry only creates bubbles that eventually burst.

“Building a whole new … Read More ➡

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Consumers Should Select Cars, Not Government

NLPC Associate Fellow Mark Modica says it is time to end tax credits and subsidies for electric vehicles. He is interviewed by Neil Cavuto on the Fox Business Network on Friday, January 6. Here’s a transcript:

Neil Cavuto:  Meanwhile, a Fox Business Alert that is going to be a topical issue, drivers paying more to fill up. But it doesn’t look like they’re getting fed up with the gas guzzlers. Gasoline now at its highest price ever for the start of the year. It’s still rising. But look what else is rising. Sales of really big vehicles like the Dodge Durango, the Jeep Grand Cherokee, so much so that Chrysler is adding, adding over a thousand jobs to build them. Former GM bondholder Mark Modica says the car buyers are going for the gas guzzlers. So D.C. should stop fueling its green car agenda?  Mark, you do raise an … Read More ➡

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GM Recalls Chevy Volt

Last night, NLPC Associate Fellow Paul Chesser discussed the Chevy Volt recall with Neil Cavuto on the Fox Business Network. Here’s a transcript:

Neil Cavuto:  …Forget Volt sales and that they are far from catching fire. Apparently the cars really are in danger of catching fire. GM is recalling nearly 8,000 Chevy Volts for what they’re calling enhancements. I actually hate it when people do that but that’s what they’re calling them, enhancements, aimed at preventing the battery from bursting into flames. The National Legal and Policy Center‘s Paul Chesser says that this recall should be a wake-up call for the government to just stop this nonsense. Just get out of this whole subsidizing, tax crediting, everything having to do with this stuff, right?

Paul Chesser:  Neil, you’re not supposed to call it a recall. GM’s not calling it a recall. The government’s not calling it a … Read More ➡

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‘Beyond Petroleum’ Gives Up on Solar

bp solar no more

BP Solar, the alternative energy subsidiary of the oil industry giant which received a $7.5 million Department of Energy grant only four years ago, announced last week it would exit the solar business.

The unit just closed its only U.S. manufacturing facility, in Frederick, Md., last year. The company said it would outsource its production of solar photovoltaic panels to China and India. BP CEO Tony Hayward told the Washington Post at the time it was “moving to where we can manufacture cheaply.” BP auctioned equipment in January this year from the closed plant, and in a sign the overall industry – with bankrupt Solyndra as its face – is completely tanking, an experienced industrial auctioneer told the Frederick News-Post, “We’ve been doing more solar technology auctions lately.”

So much for the excuse that U.S. solar companies “can’t compete” because of the cheap, heavily subsidized production of panels in … Read More ➡

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Chevy Volt Sales Figures Inflated With Fleet Purchases

Last night on Neil Cavuto’s show on Fox News Channel, NLPC Associate Fellow Mark Modica discussed disappointing sales of the Chevy Volt, and GM’s apparent goosing of sales figures through fleet sales. Here’s a transcript:

Neil Cavuto: Ten thousand Volts. That was the sales jolt that GM was hoping for this year. But with less than two weeks to go, lets just say that this puppy may be about to short circuit big time. Volt watcher Mark Modica says the numbers may be even worse than they appear. They are going to be well shy of that right, Mark?

Mark Modica (National Legal and Policy Center): Correct.

Neil Cavuto: What is the real story?

Mark Modica: Well, not only are they not hitting the goal, but it seems like a lot of these purchases, once again are being purchased by taxpayers, who through federal funds are giving … Read More ➡

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Facebook Caves to Greenpeace After Pressure Campaign

white Coke can

Greenpeace, which has campaigned against technology companies for nearly two years over their coal-burning electricity use at “cloud computing” data centers, has convinced one – Facebook – to promise to use renewable energy at facilities they build in the future.

The international environmental pressure group’s members have singled out the popular social networking site in a drive to “Unfriend Coal,” in order to fight the global warming problem that is still vivid in their collective imagination. They are particularly incensed that Facebook has built data centers in Oregon (Pacific Power) and North Carolina (Duke Energy) that are customers of utilities that generate a large percentage of their electricity from coal. Greenpeace initiated its campaign using the site’s own online tools against it, by starting groups in English and Spanish that gather members who wanted “Facebook to run on 100 percent renewable energy.” The group also attempted to … Read More ➡

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Frito-Lay/PepsiCo Cashes in On Electric Truck Subsidies

Frito Lay Electric Truck

Last week Frito-Lay, the $12 billion snack foods division of PepsiCo, boasted it would add 10 all-electric delivery trucks in Orlando, Fla., as part of its plan to deploy 176 such vehicles in the U.S. and Canada by the end of year.

As is custom with corporate announcements that proclaim their eco-accomplishments, so as to pacify persistent climate alarmists, Frito-Lay said the vehicles would emit “zero” pollutants from tailpipes and release 75 percent fewer greenhouse gases than diesel. The ETs (electric trucks) can allegedly run 100 miles on a single charge, and Frito-Lay says the groundbreaking new haulers provide “a long-term economically viable solution” – apparently to solve global warming.

Regular readers of NLPC should know the Chevy Volt sticker price, before the $7,500 tax credit, is $41,000, and for the Nissan Leaf it’s $35,200. So the cost for an electric delivery truck must be somewhat higher, right? And … Read More ➡

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Chevy Volt Sales Disappoint

On Thursday, I discussed disappointing Chevy Volt sales figures with Neil Cavuto on his Fox Business Network program. Here’s a transcript:

Neil Cavuto: It’s not just me. It is now official. The Volt is a dolt. You’re hearing me all you bloggers? It stinks. The car you have to plug in ain’t exactly selling out, not even close. Get this, for all of last month, 1,139 cars. That is 1,139.

Compare that to Toyota, which sold more than 23,000 Camrys in the same month: 1,139 to 23,000. And now news from GM that the Volt could be in for yet another jolt. Company CEO promising today to buy back Volts from customers worried about reported battery fires.

To a disgusted former GM bondholder Mark Modica. Mark, what do you make of this?

Mark Modica (National Legal & Policy Center): Well, I have moved on from being a … Read More ➡

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