February 26th, 2008 by Rightsideup

GM’s Vice Chairman apparently said recently at a conference:

Global warming is a “total crock of ****… I’m a skeptic, not a denier. Having said that, my opinion doesn’t matter. I’m motivated more by the desire to replace imported oil than by the CO2 (argument).

Naturally, this has drawn criticisms from all over, although he made clear then and has done so since on one of the company’s blogs that he still believes GM needs to do what it can to reduce dependence on oil products:

General Motors is dedicated to the removal of cars and trucks from the environmental equation, period. And, believe it or don’t: So am I! It’s the right thing to do, for us, for you and, yes, for the planet. My goal is to take the automotive industry out of the debate entirely. GM is working on just that – and we’re going to keep working on it — via E85, hybrids, hydrogen and fuel cells, and the electrification of the automobile.

His own view on why we should do this, though, is to reduce dependence on imported oil, not out of any desire to save the planet. The upshot, though, is the same: reducing the amount of oil used by the automotive industry. This has been a theme throughout the presidential campaign so far too, although there hasn’t been anywhere near enough emphasis on the supply side of the equation, such as allowing more oil to be drilled and refined domestically – too much of the focus has been on the demand side: i.e. consuming less – including the misguided biofuels effort.