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Right Wing Volt Flip-Flop? Now It's An Energy Security Hero! (Video)

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Fox News commentary on Chevy Volt (screen capture), March 2012

Fox News commentary on Chevy Volt (screen capture), March 2012

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You may have heard and read more than you want to on the media distortions and lousy reporting about the Chevrolet Volt range-extended electric car.

Former GM product czar and climate-change skeptic Bob Lutz has been a lonely voice in his series of Forbes pieces slamming the distortions (the most recent memorably titled The Chevy Volt, Bill O'Reilly, and the Postman's Butt).

Then, last week, a funny thing happened.

The "Fox & Friends" segment on Fox News ran a laudatory segment on the Volt, hailing its contribution to national energy security. There was nary a single slur, no nonsensical "broke down after 25 miles" nattering, not even any GM hatred around the 2009 bailout.

Instead, because the U.S.-built Volt can run on grid electricity--which can be generated using domestic natural gas and coal, as well as renewable fuel sources like wind and solar--it was described as a car that could help us break our national addiction to oil imported from countries that don't much like us.

No kidding? WOW!

[sigh]

Then a second piece of news came across our desk: former president George H.W. Bush bought a Volt, as a gift for his son Neil.

Now, in the political world of 2012, Bush The Elder may be viewed by a significant portion of the primary electorate as unacceptably left-wing.

2012 Chevrolet Volt

2012 Chevrolet Volt

Enlarge Photo

Nonetheless, to have a self-proclaimed Texan and oil-industry figure like GOP stalwart Bush buy a Volt is a fairly significant endorsement. It puts him in the company of former Michigan governor (and Democrat) Jennifer Granholm, by the way.

And president Obama famously pledged to buy one when he leaves office--either next January or in January 2017.

We also note a pleasantly balanced article on today's GM, complete with favorable comments, in conservative publication The Weekly Standard.

We've always believed that energy security is one of the little-understood benefits of plug-in cars--nicely articulated by Iraq veteran Tim Goodrich--but could the more reactionary parts of the right be waking up to that very patriotic argument?

We think one TV segment, one article, and one car sale are too little to draw that conclusion. We'll wait for more evidence--eagerly.

What do you think? Could the tide be turning on Volt commentary? Or is it too late, as a Huffington Post article suggests?

Leave us your thoughts in the Comments below.

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Comments (20)
  1. I honestly doubt that conservatives were ever anti-Volt in their sentiment, although I'm sure many questioned the claim by some EV advocates that saving a few bucks on gas would ever come close to paying the high price for the car. The Volt has always appealed to both those who hate gasoline , per se, and those who hate the idea of being dependent upon oil produced by those who would love to destroy us, one way or the other.
     
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  2. I don't hate gasoline so much, although I have ALWAYS hated eating the fumes of oil burners. I do like saving money on fuel and maintenance and putting it toward something i like though, and now I am able to do so with the Volt. I am using $250 less fuel each month (net, including electricity cost) than I did in my previous 2006 Cadillac CTS, while paying only $80/month more on the car payment than I was paying for the CTS purchased used in 2008. Fuel cost savings of $3000/year plus maintenance savings (1 oil change every 2 years instead of every 3-5000 miles, friction brakes that probably won't wear out, etc) really add up.
     
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  3. This article was written by the world's purest, must right-wing Libertarian/Conservative human being every to walk this planet: http://www.thestreet.com/story/11434371/1/the-official-car-of-the-republican-party.html
     
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  4. I guess they finally realized that we weren't buying into their BS. And that they were only hurting their own country by opposing innovation within our automotive industry.
     
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  5. Maybe GM should make commercials for the Volt specifically aimed at waking up the Fox crowd showing images of oil related wars (Sadam's burning oilfields come to mind), pictures of oilspills (BP...) and pictures of smog filled cities followed by a scene of a Volt plugging in and some catch phrase like "Chevy Volt, because oil is messy" or something.

    Of course that would make the rest of the range a bit hard to explain...
     
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  6. If that is all it would take is for Warlord Bush, Sr. to buy a Volt then I still think the Bushs' and the conservatives are just a big bag of S***. If GM would lower that price to around $24,999.00 and put a stronger battery in it, the Volt will do just fine making it on its own. I bet you the conservatives have something dirty and evil up their sleeve.
     
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  7. Warlord? Are you refering to the removal of Noriega in Panama, the partnership signed with Gorbachev ending the cold war, or the returning control of Kuwait to the Kuwati government?
    I agree that a $25k Volt with an improved battery would sell like hot cakes and wouldn't need any subsidies. But get real.
     
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  8. They loved it before they hated it (until they loved it again):

    http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?12770-O-Reilly-Hannity-Sustern-endorse-Chevy-Volt&highlight=hannity
     
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  9. let the volt die in peace - it was never gonna be a seller
     
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  10. Already is.
     
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  11. Over 2000 sold in March 2012
     
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  12. So EV, what exactly does that make the LEAF? Since the Volt is killing the LEAF in sales, I look forward to your usual pile of comments, but this time, you'll be consistent and argue that the lower-selling car, the LEAF, be killed.

    Oh, that's right, the Volt doesn't fit your one-shape-fits-all view of the conspiracy-ridden world... Yeah, great that Toyota gave up on the Prius when it wasn't selling, either. Oh, that's right, they didn't and the Volt just sold in one month what the original Prius sold in 3-4 months that first year.

    Some perspective might be a nice touch...
     
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  13. talking about one car beating another car at the beginning stages really doesnt mean much.

    you are also comparing 2 different kinds of cars - a hybrid and an ev.

    hybrids have a short shelf life. it is a dying breed. let's see how long the volt lasts ? i suspect it wont be long before it is revolted.
     
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  14. As if these talking heads formulated opinions of their own. Commentators at Fox will say whatever they are paid to say. Evidently GM threatened to pull advertising.
     
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  15. or threatened to sue them for making intentionally false statements presented as fact
     
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  16. Slightly off topic, but related to Republican politics and energy conservation and drill-baby-drill.

    NPR did a piece this morning showing that when Mitt Romney was Governor of my state of Massachusetts, he talked a lot about the need to radically improve the efficiency of cars. They show great parallels between Mitt's position then, and Obama's position now.

    Now, Mitt's views now sound more like drill-baby-drill, than radical CAFE. Not that I think there is anything wrong with people changing their views over time (it is good that they can). But illuminating to see Mitt caught the efficiency bug for a while.
     
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  17. few politicians believe what they say - their stance is dictated to them by however they think they can garner the most votes.

    i have to chuckle at all these posts about liberals and conservatives. politicians will flip-flop and outright lie as easily as we change clothes.

    and they are all owned lock,stock and barrel by the wealthy that put them there. and can just as easily make them disappear if they choose.
     
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  18. Over the weekend, Barney Frank was commenting on the corrupting influence of money on politics. In his experience, money absolutely has an influence, sometimes subtle, sometimes not.

    However, in his view, constituents have an even bigger influence. Politicians are very reluctant to go against strongly held views of constituents.

    Back to Mitt Romney, when he was governor of Massachusetts, I doubt that corporate interests were pushing his views toward energy efficiency. I suspect he was reflecting the views of his constituents, or perhaps he really believed it..

    Now that Mitt is running for national office, he may be adjusting his views to reflect a new constituency, or he changed his opinion.
     
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  19. Mitt moves with the Political breeze blowing hard from the Republican party. Drill baby drill will do us no good once we are in peak oil which I believe we are now in. Innovation like EV's will allow us to reduce our oil consumption since in many cases a good EV can replace your gasoline car and if enough people do it then we could really reduce our oil consumption. China on the other hand is going to rapidly increase it oil consumption since it 1.45 billion people are just yearning to buy cars. The USA is a relatively flat market and hasn't grown much since there is lots of vehicle all ready in use.
     
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  20. Energy security is an attribute of domestically produced and fueled EVs. Energy produced close to consumption saves transmission costs/losses. Solar to EV canopies are very secure. Along with security benefits, balance of trade benefits accrue from producing our own fuel instead of importing it. The USA can fuel all light vehicles domestically in 20 years.
    This reduces budget deficit as we do not have to borrow from China to pay OPEC. Energy security, balance of trade, budget deficit are improved with EVs over ICE vehicles run on imported, debt financed, speculated, inseucre, inefficiently supplied oil. The last two CIA chiefs Woolsey and Tenant and many Generals indorse EVs for national security.
     
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