Group says Exxon paid $16M to mislead public; GM doing it for free

The Union of Concerned Scientists claims the oil co. paid groups to spread bad science about global warming.

Color me bitter and cynical but … there’s people who didn’t know that? Everyone remembers the tobacco industry’s efforts at “science,” right? You think they were the only ones who did this?

Meanwhile over at GM (motto: “Remember when we mattered?”), Honcho Bob Lutz says government plans to raise  fuel economy standards will “hand over” the truck and SUV markets to the Japanese.

Under CAFE rules, automakers earn credits for surpassing the fuel-economy standards in a model year. Those credits can then be used to cover a shortfall in the following three years. Many foreign automakers, such as Toyota and Honda, routinely surpass the standards, while GM, Ford and DaimlerChrysler have used credits in recent years. The Japanese automakers “have earned years of accumulated credits from their fleets of formerly very small cars,” Lutz said. “They can afford to go bigger, which they’re doing now by the way, and they’d be able to move up and fill the segments we’d be forced to vacate.”

So the argument is that the competition somehow cheated by making cars with better gas mileage when GM wasn’t?

Nor is this the only interesting moment of logic from Mr. L:

Lutz compared the attempt to force automakers to sell smaller vehicles to “fighting the nation’s obesity problem by forcing clothing manufacturers to sell garments only in small sizes. For one thing, it puts us, the domestic manufacturers, at odds with the desires of most of our customers,” he said.

Would those be the same customers who bought 13% fewer GM and Ford cars and light trucks last month than they had a year earlier? Or would those be the customers who pushed Toyota’s December sales up 12% from the previous year?

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2 thoughts on “Group says Exxon paid $16M to mislead public; GM doing it for free

  1. Big American industry long ago stopped trying to build a better mousetrap, all they know how to do is lobby for laws and regulations that favour them. The rise of crony capitalism as it were, the companies with good political connections flourish, the rest don’t. Faced with genuine competition and good business, they can only whine about how unfair it all is. Tis a sad day, Henry Ford is spinning in his grave. JMO —Doug

  2. They’ve been as weasel-like as Big Tobacco for a long time. Back in 1975, when it was the big 3 and CAFE standards were first put out, they had 10 years to do it. Only Chrysler did it; while GM and Ford threatened Reagan with moving all auto industry jobs out of the country if they had to follow the CAFE standards that they SIGNED UP ON. “Saint” Reagan caved, of course. Lee Iaccoca was ticked off, big time.

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