RUSH: If you will pardon me, a little housekeeping, a personal thing here. Yesterday afternoon in Washington at the Hudson Institute — not an insane asylum, this is a conservative think tank — they had a panel discussion on improving America’s energy security, and on the panel was Bob Lutz from General Motors, who said this.
LUTZ: My plea to the right, and I have written e-mails to Rush Limbaugh, who likes to describe me as “My good friend Bob Lutz,” although I never get an e-mail response from him. All of these people I find frustrate me in the unwillingness to accept that electrification of the mobile sector is a good thing to do and in the national interest, whether you’re a conservative or a liberal.
RUSH: Okay, now we can talk about the electrification of the mobile sector. For those of you in Rio Linda, do you know what that means? Do you think they do, the electrification of the mobile sector? Think Chevy Volt. The electrification is electric cars with batteries that need to be charged using coal. Which, by the way, speaking of that, Greenpeace just dumped on Apple today because they’re powering their data centers with coal, and, of course, coal is like oil. It’s a fossil fuel, and, therefore, it’s horrible, it is to be outlawed. It’s ridiculous and it’s crazy. Anyway, we’ll get into whether or not the electrification of the mobile sector is a good thing or not.
I just want to say Bob Lutz is a friend of mine. I met Bob Lutz at the Dinner of the Century, a cigar dinner done every year. Marvin Shanken, Cigar Aficionado magazine and Wine Spectator. We do this big dinner every year. It’s a black tie thing, a fundraiser for prostate cancer. Michael Milken shows up. It’s always at the Four “Treasons” in New York City. Uh, Seasons, Four Seasons in New York City, in the poolroom, and it’s a wonderful night. It raises a lot of money and one year Lutz was there because a lot of the people that advertise in Marvin’s magazines show up. Lutz was there, and that’s where I first met him. We had a great time, a great conversation. I have since been given a tour of General Motors by Lutz. I considered us to be friends because of that first night at the cigar dinner.
I just want to say I have not gotten any of Bob’s e-mails. I reply to e-mails. I don’t talk on the phone. E-mail’s my life. That’s how I communicate with people. I don’t use the phone. I mean, under duress. You know, if I’m told I have to talk to somebody on the phone, it can ruin the 30 minutes leading up to it, I so despise it. I turn off the ringers on all the phones at home. I can’t even stand to hear a phone ring, ’cause there’s never good news, never. The phone never is anything other than a problem or somebody wanting something or somebody wanting me to buy something, or whatever. I just hate it. So I live on e-mail. (interruption) What’s so funny? It’s true. What do you mean, bill collectors don’t call me? Bill collectors do call me. I mean, if I wanted to get personal, I could tell you something that really irritates me about that, ’cause it’s an ongoing thing. And I’m sure it’s political. Yeah, but there’s nothing ever good on the other end of a phone call, ever.
So, anyway, my point is, I use e-mail, and I respond to e-mail, and I haven’t gotten anything from Bob Lutz. So, Bob, I don’t know what e-mail address you’re using, but I haven’t gotten any. I’ll be glad to talk about the electrification of the mobile sector as a good thing and in the national interest whether you’re a conservative or liberal any time you want. My whole problem with this is that it also carries with it something else, and that is that oil is bad, and I don’t believe that.
Just today a Boeing 747 flew from the Kennedy Space Center to Washington, DC, and on its back was a 200,000-pound space shuttle. Now, stop and think of this, folks. A Boeing 747, I don’t know how many of you ever think about airplanes and what it takes to get one in the air and how much they weigh, and what kind of power it takes to get those things flying fast enough so that the aerodynamics of the airfoil on the wing create the difference in air pressure that some people call lift, it gets those things off the ground and through the air fast enough not to crash, fast enough to defy gravity. I don’t know if people stop and think about the power that is required for that. It’s something that everybody just takes for granted. Airplanes roll down the runway, they lift off, they go, and they land. Sometimes pilots go nuts. But most of the time that doesn’t happen and then you land. Before you get on the airplane, if you’re a woman, you get patted down. You may as well show up nude for the TSA people to have their jollies. But the airplane lifts off.
Now, this Boeing 747 is strong enough and powerful enough to put a space shuttle — now, it’s stripped of all its gear, it’s a shell, but it’s still 200,000 pounds, and it’s on the back, on the top of that 747. And it flew to Washington. This was the shuttle Discovery. And when it got to Washington it did a bunch of flyovers. It flew over the Capitol. It through over the White House. It flew over downtown Washington. They relaxed the airspace restrictions. And I got a picture here of the NASA 747 with the shuttle and it’s in the sky, in the background of a picture of the White House. And I thought how perfectly fitting, the regime that shuts down the program, the regime that shuts down the shuttle program and the manned space flight program, here’s a picture of the last shuttle or one of the last shuttles. Well, we might as well put a house on the Boeing 747, fly that over the White House, because the housing market’s going the same way as the shuttle.
But that’s another point.
My point is there is not a battery in the world that would get that 747 even down the runway at 30 miles an hour without needing a charge. There isn’t a battery that would get that airplane off the ground. It’s not even feasible. I have no problem with batteries. My whole life is recharging the damn things. My three iPads, my two iPhones. I got battery chargers here and there. I got electrical outlets. I got battery chargers in my briefcase. All I do is recharge batteries. I’m fully aware of electrification of the mobile sector. But I also know that there’s nothing wrong with oil. And there’s nothing wrong with gasoline. And there’s no substitute for either yet. If people want to go buy an electric car that gets 40 miles to the charge, and then you have to turn on your gasoline-powered engine to finish your trip, go ahead.
If you want a car that costs so much money the government’s gotta pay you something back to buy it, go ahead. I’m for freedom. I don’t want to limit anybody’s choices. But don’t tell me that’s the only option I’m gonna have. Don’t tell me I can’t go buy a car that gets ten miles a gallon if I want to and if I’m willing to pay for it — which I do. That’s the problem with this. The problem with all this is that this electric stuff is being presented as a savior of something, and we don’t need saving from oil. And we don’t need saving from gasoline. And if we didn’t have either, we wouldn’t have anywhere near the lifestyle or the prosperity or the standard of living that we’ve got now.
If we had to get food, for example, where it goes, using nothing but electricity or horse and buggy? I hate to tell you what the price would be, and I hate to tell you how limited the supply would be. What do you think got us to the moon? What do you think it was that powered those shuttles to the International Space Station? It wasn’t a battery. It was a combination of jet fuel, rocket fuel, solid booster fuel, fuel cells. There’s all kinds of reasons for advancement in energy technology. I am not opposed to any of it. But, Bob, Mr. Lutz: The problem is not me.
The problem is that the pro-electric car crowd are the people making this political. The people pushing… Just today, Obama… Where was it? He had a campaign appearance in the Rose Garden. They say it’s a presidential appearance, but it’s a campaign appearance. It’s an election year. Obama did a campaign appearance in the Rose Garden an hour or so ago, and he promised to crack down on the manipulation in the oil market driving up the price of gasoline. He promised the same exact thing almost one year ago to this day. The New York Times is ecstatic! There’s a big story here: “Obama Cracking Down on Big Oil!” They’re the people making this political.
Obama and the leftists are trying to guilt people who don’t know any better that the vehicles, the cars and all the other appliances that they use that rely on oil are somehow sinful. I’m not interested in rolling back any standard of living. I’m not interested in rolling back American progress. I’m not interested in that. I don’t make anything political. I come here every day, I look at the news, and I react to people. The American left, Barack Obama, American liberalism is nothing but ideology. It is nothing but politics. Their issues are not rooted in science. The electric car is not about saving the planet.
The electric car is not about cleaner energy. The electric car is not about cleaner air. The electric car is about taking away choices from the American people about what they want to drive. The electric car is about bigger government. They are the ones making this political. And thus they have to be responded to in a political way. So Obama, he said today — and he really means it this time, ’cause he said last year he’s gonna look into his these speculators. He really means it this time. In fact, he said he’s gonna spend $42 million to make sure these speculators don’t get away with this anymore. Now, for the life of me, I can’t figure out what he’s going to do with $42 million, other than buy off some speculators.
How in the world is spending $42 million to keep a sharp eye on speculators going to help?
Why is it even necessary?
All you need is a couple of eyes.
This is absurd! Maybe Obama’s gonna put a $42 million bounty on the speculators. But it just makes me wonder if Obama won’t just go Hugo Chavez on Big Oil after he gets reelected. Just nationalize ’em. Why not? It’s what he told what’s-his-face, Medvedev. “Dmitry, I need flexibility. I’ll have much more flexibility after the election. Tell Vlad that once I get elected, I can then get rid of the nuclear weapons and you will have them all!” One of the specific things Obama said he’s gonna do is “increase the penalty for companies engaging in market manipulation.” The penalty is gonna go from $1 million to $10 million. I’m pretty sure this is only gonna apply to oil companies. Green companies like Solyndra don’t have anything to worry about, ’cause they can’t stay in business.
Folks, I don’t think people stop and think about that. So much of our technological advancement is just taken for granted.
There’s not a battery that would get that 747 and that shuttle even to the runway on a full charge, much less at speed to take off and go anywhere! There’s not a battery that will get an ocean liner out of port. What are we talking about here? There’s no replacement for oil. There’s no substitute for it. There’s nothing on the horizon. This is nothing but left-wing politics, pure and simple, and it’s about what all left-wing politics is about: Expanding government, total control over people and their freedom. The free market — not me, the free market — has rejected the Chevrolet Volt, even though the Chevrolet Volt has had billions of dollars in backing from the government.
Right now, consumers don’t want it. Now, Bob Lutz blames me, in part, because I have been critical of it. And he thinks those of you in this audience will not go buy the car if I’ve said what I think about it. And that’s patently ridiculous. You are gonna buy what you want to buy. You’re not mind-numbed robots here. I’m not some Svengali pied-pipering you into not doing or doing things. But I’m just gonna tell you: This whole idea of replacing oil is akin to taking away our power, folks, as a nation and as individuals. Furthermore, it is intellectually bankrupt.
“Oil is such old news.” Why? Because somebody in the left decided oil’s bad? Algae, somehow, is better? Oil is as natural as soil. Oil is as natural as diamonds. Oil is as natural as corn coming out of the ground. Oil is as organic as anything else, and so are we. But to listen to people like Obama and the American left, the problem with the planet is human beings and oil. Fossil fuels. Coal, and this kind of thing. It’s absolutely absurd, it’s intellectually insulting, and the fact that it emotionally appeals to people scares me. It weighs 698,000 pounds! Do you realize the power in those jet engines necessary to lift that off? How about the power to launch the shuttle to the space station?
RUSH: Clarkston, Michigan. Charlie, I’m glad you called, sir. Great to have you on the program. Hi.
CALLER: Well, thank you for taking my call.
CALLER: Well, I used to work for General Motors at the Tech Center in Warren, Michigan, and we used to have these yearly all peoples meeting in a big auditorium, engineers, designers and such would be there. They go over the year, progress, and afterwards they would open up questions on the floor. And a young gal, probably right out of college, got the microphone and asked Bob Lutz, who was one of the officers taking questions, if he was concerned about global warming. This is about ten years ago. And, you know, his take on it was, well, whatever cars put in the atmosphere in terms of carbon dioxide is a pittance compared to the what the earth puts in there, from scientific study. He said, don’t worry about it, you know, the cars are much cleaner now than they’ve ever been. They get better gas mileage, and he said that don’t worry about the fact that we don’t have gasoline ’cause technology is such now that it seems like we have more gasoline, the more we use, the more we discover. So, you know, he basically allayed this lady’s fears about it.
RUSH: So what are you saying here? That ten years ago Lutz didn’t believe in this global warming stuff?
CALLER: No, he did not. Not at all. And everybody couldn’t wait to hear what Bob Lutz had to say because it was always politically incorrect and he’s very charming and smart and, you know, and this was his take, “Don’t worry about it.” This is ten years ago —
RUSH: Well, I know. Let me jump in here. Let me jump in with both feet. Let me do a cannonball. Back in 2008 Bob Lutz said global warming is a crock of excrement. When I went to General Motors and got the tour of the design center, Lutz showed me some things they were working on. They had a mock-up, and I remember, Bob Lutz designed a state-of-the-art, luxury Cadillac, 12-cylinder, and they had a mock-up of what the car would look like in one of the areas he showed me. I remember the fact that it made news when he announced that this was something on their drawing board they were looking at. It was a beautiful car, by the way, big. Think Maybach. Think Rolls. It was gonna be Cadillac’s entry into that market, 12 cylinders, 600 horsepower, it was gonna be big. And he said, “I can’t make it. Emission standards coming down the line, CAFE and all that, the car would never qualify within our fleet standards, can’t build it, can’t build it.”
Now, Charlie here is talking about Lutz being right on the money when it came to manmade global warming, it was a crock and this kind of thing. By the way, the remark in 2008, Bob made that crack during a private lunch with reporters in Virginia. This according to D magazine, and he followed it up by saying, “I’m a skeptic, not a denier. Having said that, my opinion doesn’t matter.” He says that the reason he’s pushing the Volt has nothing to do with global warming. He’s motivated by the desire to replace imported oil than the CO2 argument. Remember, now, when I met Lutz at the cigar dinner, I thought I was talking to somebody simpatico. Well, I know I was. And I’m saying nothing more than that now. I’m not speculating. This guy worked in Detroit saying basically the same thing.
But Lutz doesn’t own General Motors anymore. The United Auto Workers owns it along with Obama. And there’s no question, Lutz was and is popular at General Motors. He’s a perfect guy to have at a dinner party. The guy flies his own jet fighter plane, a picture of it is on his business card. He’s a renaissance guy. He really is. But I’m not getting his e-mails. He says he’s sending e-mails to me. I’m not getting them. I would reply. No, not getting his e-mails, but my Bluetooth in the car’s being hacked. Bob Lutz was a Marine pirate pilot.