Rasmussen: Trickle-down environmentalism a loser

posted at 2:30 pm on February 24, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Will another campaign to generate more money for government subsidies on green technology, especially electric vehicles, impress voters in 2012?  Not exactly, according to today’s Rasmussen poll.  Some may call it crony capitalism, Scott Rasmussen calls Obama’s policies “trickle-down environmentalism,” but either way it doesn’t impress voters at all:

As president, Obama called for putting 1 million electric cars on the road by 2015. He backed that call with more than $5 billion in taxpayer subsidies to jump-start the electric car industry. The president also put in place a program that gave $7,500 to anyone who would actually buy an electric car. Despite that support, sales were minimal in 2011, so his new budget proposes hiking that subsidy to $10,000 a car.

Voters are skeptical. Just 29 percent favor the $10,000 subsidies, while 58 percent are opposed. When told that reaching the goal of a million electric cars on the road could cost taxpayers $10 billion in subsidies, opposition reaches 65 percent. Voters are looking to reduce federal spending, not increase it.

But there’s an important detail suggesting the president’s plan could be an even bigger loser in the court of public opinion. The CEO of General Motors said recently that the average income of those buying Chevy’s electric Volt is approximately $170,000 a year. That puts electric car buyers in the same league as BMW buyers or those who drive a Mercedes-Benz. It may not be the 1 percent, but it qualifies in the top 7 percent of all American earners. That’s a more elite group than those who buy Cadillacs or Lexus cars.

Such trickle-down environmentalism is hardly appealing to voters. Seventy-three percent believe those who earn $150,000 or more should pay the full cost of the car themselves. Only 13 percent think a government subsidy is appropriate.

The Wall Street Journal takes a more in-depth look at the impact of government subsidies on job creation, and finds that voters’ skepticism is well-founded:

Companies have received more than $10 billion to create jobs and renewable energy by building wind farms, solar projects and other alternatives to oil and natural gas under section 1603 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The program expired in December, and President Barack Obama proposed last week that Congress revive it in the 2013 budget.

On federal applications, companies said they created more than 100,000 direct jobs at 1603-funded projects. But a Wall Street Journal investigation found evidence of far fewer. Some plants laid off workers. Others closed. …

The 1603 program gave $10.7 billion to 5,098 businesses for 31,540 projects, according to the Treasury Department. Recipients were generally reimbursed 30% of their costs after projects were finished.

Those businesses claimed on federal applications that they created 102,883 jobs directly. But the Journal found evidence of far fewer.

About 40% of the funding, $4.3 billion, went to 36 wind farms. During the peak of construction, they employed an average of 200 workers apiece—a total of roughly 7,200 jobs.

Now, those projects employ about 300 people, according to the companies and economic development officials. Their parent companies employ many more, both in the U.S. and abroad.

In Texas, the state comptroller estimated the Cedro Hill wind farm would create 531 jobs directly and indirectly during construction in 2010 and taper down to 44 jobs this year, according to computer models and information from developers.

But county officials said few locals were hired.

Here’s a cautionary tale from the Obama administration’s attempt to pick winners and losers in the energy markets with these subsidies:

Private-equity firm Wayzata Investment Partners created neither jobs nor energy with the $6.5 million it received for a plant in Thompson Falls, Mont. The facility had state permits to burn coal and wood for energy, and Wayzata had invested more than $20 million to comply with government rules, said a person familiar with the matter.

After finishing the work, this person said, Wayzata told Treasury officials the plant would burn only wood; coal-burning plants don’t qualify for 1603 money.

But Wayzata found it couldn’t make money operating the plant on just wood without investing millions of dollars more in equipment improvements, said three people with knowledge of the project.

Wayzata submitted its application to the Treasury Department and in June 2010 received its payment. By then, the plant had not produced power for months, regulatory filings show. The facility, which still doesn’t produce power, is for sale. Wayzata representatives declined to comment.

Well, Obama spent $6.5 million to get them to stop burning coal.  And it worked!  Too bad everyone lost their jobs, but hey, you have to break a few million eggs to make a coal-free omelette, or something.

Speaking of which, just where do people think they’ll get the electricity to run those million-plus electric vehicles?  Michael Ramirez, the two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist for Investors Business Daily, reminds us that all of the new demand for electricity will need a power source capable of supplying it.  And that means …

Also, be sure to check out Ramirez’ terrific collection of his works: Everyone Has the Right to My Opinion, which covers the entire breadth of Ramirez’ career, and it gives fascinating look at political history.  Read my review here, and watch my interviews with Ramirez here and here.  And don’t forget to check out the entire Investors.com site, which has now incorporated all of the former IBD Editorials, while individual investors still exist.


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Ramirez….just masterful.

ted c on February 24, 2012 at 2:33 PM

Rameriz-nail on head.

davidk on February 24, 2012 at 2:34 PM

The CEO of General Motors said recently that the average income of those buying Chevy’s electric Volt is approximately $170,000 a year.

I foresee unemployment “benefits” going through the roof so that the peeps can afford this ride. Speaking of electric car boondoggles, apparently, after a week in the garage, the new Tesla car turns into a brick.

ted c on February 24, 2012 at 2:34 PM

A+

Alright, time for a “WHICH DIMWIT WILL BE THE FIRST TO POST A COMMENT LIKE RAMIREZ IS SUCH A TERRIBLE CARTOONIST poll!

Jeddite on February 24, 2012 at 2:35 PM

About 40% of the funding, $4.3 billion, went to 36 wind farms. During the peak of construction, they employed an average of 200 workers apiece—a total of roughly 7,200 jobs.

throwin’ money into the wind, if you ask me.

ted c on February 24, 2012 at 2:37 PM

Well, Obama spent $6.5 million to get them to stop burning coal. And it worked! Too bad everyone lost their jobs, but hey, you have to break a few million eggs to make a coal-free omelette, or something.

Nice snark!!

Also, love Ramirez’s cartoons!! Lisa Benson is another great conservative cartoonist.

Bitter Clinger on February 24, 2012 at 2:41 PM

We are fighting against green scams in my small town here in Mass.

The big green mafia are trying to convert agricultural farms to solar farms, against the laws.

We are a small grassroots group. Please check out our efforts. If you support our battle, “plus 1″ us!

Together We Can… Beat the green gold rush!

http://watchdogsofcarver.blogspot.com

shanimal on February 24, 2012 at 2:44 PM

The CEO of General Motors said recently that the average income of those buying Chevy’s electric Volt is approximately $170,000 a year.

I foresee unemployment “benefits” going through the roof so that the peeps can afford this ride. Speaking of electric car boondoggles, apparently, after a week in the garage, the new Tesla car turns into a brick.

ted c on February 24, 2012 at 2:34 PM

Funny, Palin already mentioned that today:

https://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=10150581060688435

ChuckTX on February 24, 2012 at 2:45 PM

I think it is long past the time when the words:

“Your policies don’t work!”

“Your ideology is a failure!”

“You can’t do that!”

“No!”

… are said loudly and often to Obowma.

Seven Percent Solution on February 24, 2012 at 2:46 PM

No, kids…mommy can’t drive you anywhere this weekend. We’re all out of unicorn farts and hopenchange. Sports and library are waaaay over-rated anyhow.

Laura in Maryland on February 24, 2012 at 2:50 PM

Seven Percent Solution on February 24, 2012 at 2:46 PM

The Reagan era “Just Say No” campaign has a lot of relevancy today, no?

Bitter Clinger on February 24, 2012 at 2:51 PM

On that Ramirez cartoon, where do the guns go?

Schadenfreude on February 24, 2012 at 2:52 PM

Play it, often, and to all.

Schadenfreude on February 24, 2012 at 2:53 PM

The Ramirez cartoon is spot on. I get so sick of hearing about these wonderful ‘emission free’ cars/lawn mowers/etc….

The electricity has to come from somewhere you jacka$$es….

Sure, there’s nuclear and hydro…but I don’t think the smug enviro-a$$wipes would be cheering about those either.

BigWyo on February 24, 2012 at 2:53 PM

A recent study showed that electric cars in China were diminishing air quality there, but ask a lib here why taxpayers should be subsidizing the purchase of electric cars for the 1% and they’ll tell you that it’s totally worth it because the cars reduce air pollution. None of them ever seem to know or care about how the electricity that powers the cars is generated — other than coming magically out of that wall outlet, that is.

It’s almost as if they all went to Harvard . . . .

AZCoyote on February 24, 2012 at 2:56 PM

And now we also find out that the $110,000 all electric Tesla Roadster becomes an immovable “brick” requiring a $40,000 replacement of the battery pack if you let the charge get all the way down to zero.
Sure – green energy and green electric cars are just what we all need…./////

dentarthurdent on February 24, 2012 at 2:57 PM

Subsidizing economically unproductive energy schemes should not be considered environmentalism. It’s like pouring money down the drain. Can’t do that in light of our budget problems.
And another thing. A ‘climate scientist’ is not credible on… climate.
Sure, it’s counter-intuitive or whatever. I mean post ~1990 vintage climate scientists that, with rare exception, had to agree with the fabricated ‘science’ of the leftists before getting accepted into the sky is falling club.

anotherJoe on February 24, 2012 at 3:01 PM

It’s almost as if they all went to Harvard . . . .

AZCoyote on February 24, 2012 at 2:56 PM

The ones that didn’t went to Cal-Berkeley.

Bitter Clinger on February 24, 2012 at 3:02 PM

Maybe Ramirez will do another one to somehow get the alge pond along with the volt? I do love Ramirez and his cartoons!
L

letget on February 24, 2012 at 3:02 PM

Bravo (again) Mr. Ramirez.

(you sir, just get me)

Tim_CA on February 24, 2012 at 3:04 PM

The Reagan era “Just Say No” campaign has a lot of relevancy today, no?

Bitter Clinger on February 24, 2012 at 2:51 PM

In a word…

… Yes!

:)

Seven Percent Solution on February 24, 2012 at 3:04 PM

And another thing. A ‘climate scientist’ is not credible on… climate.
Sure, it’s counter-intuitive or whatever. I mean post ~1990 vintage climate scientists that, with rare exception, had to agree with the fabricated ‘science’ of the leftists before getting accepted into the sky is falling club.

anotherJoe on February 24, 2012 at 3:01 PM

Their logo is the wicked witch from Wizard of Oz screaming “I’m melting, I’m melting!!!!”

Bitter Clinger on February 24, 2012 at 3:04 PM

letget s/b algae
L

letget on February 24, 2012 at 3:06 PM

About 40% of the funding, $4.3 billion, went to 36 wind farms. During the peak of construction, they employed an average of 200 workers apiece—a total of roughly 7,200 jobs.

throwin’ money into the wind, if you ask me.

ted c on February 24, 2012 at 2:37 PM

Windmills kill tens of thousands of birds a year in the USA; no worries there I guess. Our federal government on the other hand is suing four oil companies because 22 migratory birds died in oil pooling on the ground.

slickwillie2001 on February 24, 2012 at 3:07 PM

eventually, the US will turn back to big time oil and coal production.

now, i’m not sure if that will be in the next few years to stay on top of other countries and will be years and years from now after the US has been passed by other countries and has to produce its own oil and coal as it can no longer afford to buy it elsewhere, but it will happen.

the question i want to know is can we line and and shoot every officeholder(D’s and R’s) that ever signed anything that is making this happen.

cougar on February 24, 2012 at 3:07 PM

A recent study showed that electric cars in China were diminishing air quality there…

Is that from the Volt batteries catching fire?

J.H. on February 24, 2012 at 3:08 PM

Now if we can have one of those ugly refueling stations every 40 miles….
The Volt would be awesome.

Electrongod on February 24, 2012 at 3:08 PM

Under my plan of a Cap and Trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.

He warned us….

Kini on February 24, 2012 at 3:08 PM

Play it, often, and to all.

Schadenfreude on February 24, 2012 at 2:53 PM

and some think that not keeping some of his promises is a good argument? We’re totally cooked if this guy gets another term. He’ll be totally unhinged without worrying about reelection. We’ve also have to get control of the Senate…

RedInMD on February 24, 2012 at 3:14 PM

Clean Energy…..it just get’s funnier every time they try to promote their superior green energy plan.

DRILL HERE DRILL NOW.

Dr Evil on February 24, 2012 at 3:15 PM

… all electric Tesla Roadster becomes an immovable “brick” requiring a $40,000 replacement of the battery pack if you let the charge get all the way down to zero.

Well, from what I read it’s not quite that bad. But the Roadster does lock up if the battery charge gets too low, and you can’t tow it by normal means (the wheels are locked), and you have to recharge and reboot it to get it unlocked, so its a problem.

LarryD on February 24, 2012 at 3:15 PM

sheesh :

We’ve = We

RedInMD on February 24, 2012 at 3:15 PM

Ramirez is obviously another rightwing fanatic.

If he was as smart as us, he would obviously know that electric cars are powered by fairy dust and unicorn farts.

How do us smart people know? Why, we listen to our lord and master, Barack Obama.

(/nutjob liberal)

Kingfisher on February 24, 2012 at 3:16 PM

The CEO of General Motors said recently that the average income of those buying Chevy’s electric Volt is approximately $170,000 a year.

So the support of the %1 is necessary to purchase these green vehicles to save the planet?

I think the term EPIC FAIL doesn’t sufficiently describe the #OWS movement.

Kingfisher on February 24, 2012 at 3:20 PM

President Obama doesn’t have an energy plan. He has an energy speech that he continues to give regardless of the facts or his obvious failures. He likes to take credit for actions initiated by the last administration (without telling you that he’s reversed or stymied many of those successes).

We should not be surprised by his detached attitude about America’s pain at the pump. He’s not interested in lowering the price of gas because exorbitantly high gas prices are one of his campaign promises. In September 2008, candidate Obama’s Energy Secretary in-waiting said: “Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.” ($10 per gallon) That’s one campaign promise they’re working hard to fulfill!
-Sarah Palin-
https://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=10150581060688435

Green eyed Lady on February 24, 2012 at 3:23 PM

None of them ever seem to know or care about how the electricity that powers the cars is generated — other than coming magically out of that wall outlet, that is.

AZCoyote on February 24, 2012 at 2:56 PM

Oh puhlease, everyone knows that is exactly where electricity comes from. Just like money comes from ATM’s. . . .

cmsciulli on February 24, 2012 at 3:28 PM

Well, from what I read it’s not quite that bad. But the Roadster does lock up if the battery charge gets too low, and you can’t tow it by normal means (the wheels are locked), and you have to recharge and reboot it to get it unlocked, so its a problem.

LarryD on February 24, 2012 at 3:15 PM

That’s not what was in the news yesterday. Here’s just one of the articles:
http://www.businessinsider.com/the-tesla-roadster-can-become-a-100000-brick-2012-2

If you let the battery charge get down to zero, it cannot be recharged at all. The whole battery pack must be replaced – to the tune of $40,000 NOT covered by warranty. According to the reports, if you start with a full charge and leave it unplugged for 11 weeks this will happen. If you park it, say at the airport with only say 1/4 charge left, and leave it for a 2 week trip – it will likely be a “brick” when you get back.

dentarthurdent on February 24, 2012 at 3:29 PM

Obama Energy Plan 2012:

Give speeches until the sheep trudge back to work in the rice fields.

BlaxPac on February 24, 2012 at 4:05 PM

Michael Ramirez is unrelentingly awesome.

ConservativeLA on February 24, 2012 at 4:21 PM

Under my plan of a Cap and Trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.

He warned us….

Kini on February 24, 2012 at 3:08 PM

This is absolutely true. And the sorry SOB just gets a pass on it…

BigWyo on February 24, 2012 at 4:24 PM

When told that reaching the goal of a million electric cars on the road could cost taxpayers $10 billion in subsidies, opposition reaches 65 percent.

So 35% of those polled think spending $10 billion on subsidies for cars that catch fire, leave huge batteries to be disposed of, and can only be afforded by the wealthy, is a good idea?

No wonder Soetoro might actually win a second term–35% of the American electorate are blithering fools.

MidniteRambler on February 24, 2012 at 5:11 PM

That’s not what was in the news yesterday. Here’s just one of the articles:
http://www.businessinsider.com/the-tesla-roadster-can-become-a-100000-brick-2012-2

If you let the battery charge get down to zero, it cannot be recharged at all. The whole battery pack must be replaced – to the tune of $40,000 NOT covered by warranty. According to the reports, if you start with a full charge and leave it unplugged for 11 weeks this will happen. If you park it, say at the airport with only say 1/4 charge left, and leave it for a 2 week trip – it will likely be a “brick” when you get back.

dentarthurdent on February 24, 2012 at 3:29 PM

It will be interesting to see that spun as a feature, not a bug.

talkingpoints on February 24, 2012 at 6:14 PM

“… It will be interesting to see that spun as a feature, not a bug.”

Heh… Tesla, Inc. is already touting their idea of a solution (call it “Tesla 2.0″), which enables the car to call for help when it nears the dangerous low-charge state…

DeepWheat on February 24, 2012 at 7:19 PM

I was reading a blog the other day on someone who was reviewing the VOLT car and basically came to the conclusion: The car was designed with 2000 lbs. worth of batteries to go around 30 miles which was equal to one gallon of gas that weighs a whole 6 lbs.

He figured that battery electric cars were always going to be a passing fancy to be replaced by some other technology that everyone would want. This O-admin is pushing failure just like all the other greenies. What sucks is that the rest of us producers end up paying for it.

Ronaldusmax on February 24, 2012 at 7:22 PM

[previous post in error -- fat-fingers -- sorry about that...]

“… It will be interesting to see that spun as a feature, not a bug.”
talkingpoints on February 24, 2012 at 6:14 PM

Heh… Tesla, Inc. is already touting their idea of a solution (call it “Tesla 2.0″), which enables the car to call for help when it nears the dangerous low-charge state… so in order to keep track of your fancy roadster when you’re not using it, you need to have another app on your i-phone… nice.

In my garage, I have a 1967 Pontiac GTO, with a 400HO & 3-2bbl carbs. I have left it parked for months many times over the 30+ years I’ve owned it, just because life is hectic and we can’t always take the hot-rod out for a spin, especially in the winter… The most I’ve ever had to do to get it going is a quick jump-start, and I can always push it out of the garage if necessary.

And Lefties think all this “green” stuff is progress?

“Cogito, ergo TEA Party!” ~ DeepWheat

DeepWheat on February 24, 2012 at 7:31 PM

So much squandered wealth and opportunity. I hate liberals.

tom daschle concerned on February 24, 2012 at 8:25 PM

Funny, Palin already mentioned that today

ChuckTX on February 24, 2012 at 2:45

How many times has she missed being ahead of the curve?

Siddhartha Vicious on February 24, 2012 at 9:43 PM

More fuel to the fire–er, so to speak:

http://biggovernment.com/serickson/2012/02/24/more-stimulus-money-blowing-in-the-wind/#more-436172

mountainaires on February 25, 2012 at 8:25 AM

In my garage, I have a 1967 Pontiac GTO, with a 400HO & 3-2bbl carbs. I have left it parked for months many times over the 30+ years I’ve owned it, just because life is hectic and we can’t always take the hot-rod out for a spin, especially in the winter… The most I’ve ever had to do to get it going is a quick jump-start, and I can always push it out of the garage if necessary.
DeepWheat on February 24, 2012 at 7:31 PM

I just replaced the whole engine in a 74 Camaro for only $2000 – and when we do need to replace the battery it only costs about $50. In fact in 5 years of work on this car – body, paint, 2 engines, transmission, interior, and more – all together it still cost less than a replacement battery pack for a Tesla.

dentarthurdent on February 25, 2012 at 12:17 PM