As the disgraced Detroit three automakers are asking Congress for tens of billions of taxpayer dollars, we should remember the last several billion that we gave the industry, and the outcome of it. In the 1990s, the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles worked to make 80-plus miles per gallon cars and allowed for communications amongst scientists between the big three auto makers to help speed that process along.
The Partnership was a huge success, with three 70-plus miles per gallon prototypes. General Motors had the Precept, a five-seat sedan with ample trunk space, with one version getting 108 miles per gallon equivalent running on hydrogen. Ford had the Prodigy getting 72 miles per gallon and Daimler-Chrysler also had a 72-miles-per gallon vehicle. Taxpayers were proud that their billions were not wasted, and expected these vehicles on the market.
But none of the automakers put any of these vehicles into production, or anything similar. Instead, they chose gas-guzzling SUVs, the epitome of stupidity from a climate change and energy conservation perspective. Using slick ads to push their behemoth vehicles, the auto makers are among the biggest culprits in the fast rise in greenhouse gas emissions in the Untied States.
What happened to the efficient vehicles? The failure to incorporate that technology was also a major cause of our economic collapse. With the rise in gas prices this past summer, the values of SUV’s plummeted, and for many, their gas guzzlers are now worth less than the loan they have on them.
Why should we give a bailout now, when the automakers are the ones who put themselves into the crisis they are in through their own idiocy? Why don’t they dust off these efficient vehicles and put them into production, something both our wallets and our planet could have used a decade ago?
They say those who forget history are bound to repeat it. After the foolish follies of the auto industries in pushing gas guzzlers on the American public (along with tax breaks that they manipulated through Congress), why should we bail them out?
What we need is the massive investment in mass transit and high speed passenger rail: a much better way to travel with exponential fuel savings compared to the most efficient vehicles.
I am sending this letter because I just wanted to thank everybody that stopped to help me when my truck went into a ditch on U.S. 84 between Pagosa Springs and Chromo on Dec. 18. I was on my way back to Albuquerque, N.M., and was driving a B.M.D. truck when I saw a plow behind me so I thought it would be a good idea to move out of the way so he could plow the road.
Well, I turned off on a side road and stopped to let him go by. There was a pickup truck with a horse trailer, he started to move and come my way and I moved over to let him by. That’s when the rear of my truck slipped into the ditch. Well, he kept going and I was stuck.
I sat for about a half hour when a lady came by. At first I didn’t think she was going to stop, but then she opened her window and asked if I needed help. At that time I thought my phone worked out there so I said “thanks anyway” and she left.
I checked my phone and it didn’t work so I was out of luck, I thought!
Then a couple pulled up said they were going to Chromo and could they call someone for me? I said “yes” and gave them some numbers and they said they would call for me.
Soon after they left, another lady pulled up, went by, then backed up and asked if I needed help. I said thanks, that someone was calling my company, and she went on.
Soon after that, a young man came by and tried to pull me out with his pickup with no success. I said thanks and he went on his way. By this time I had been there at least two hours.
Then a road worker, a lady with a cell phone and about three more people came by. I tell you, there are a lot of angels in that state and I want to thank them all.
Especially the four guys that finally got me out. They worked so hard and I hope God blesses each and everyone of them. And, I hope you print this because I appreciate each and every one of them.
Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Sounds very similar to another boondoggle referred to as “the airport that was built, but nobody came!” When is this county going to accept who we are — an attractive place for those wanting to retire and those wanting a second home in a very scenic area. If the county’s focus were in that direction then more effort would be made to direct funds to those areas of need.
What attracts people to this community? What makes it easier for people to retire here or build/buy a vacation home? What types of services and amenities will sustain a viable community? How do we connect the town up the hill with downtown? What has worked in other communities similar to ours?
We have an average of 300-plus days of sunshine. Are alternative energy incentives a wise investment? Did the county board form a group called PROST for appearances only — seriously? An indoor arena — seriously!
Yesterday, my wife and I had to run numerous errands in town and do some Christmas shopping in support of our local shop owners. When stopping at the proverbial post office to check my box, I was appalled at the state of the sidewalks and parking lot ice!
Come on, it was two days after the last big snow and it is the busiest point of people concentration in the entire town and county. What gives that these common areas were not taken care of? Whose job is it to clear this space of dangerous ice and snow buildup? Do my tax dollars go toward this function, if so what department is responsible?
Maybe if we start with the little things, the big ones will get easier.