Taxpayers Help Fund Chevy Volt Village

Akerson & VoltWell, I really have to hand it to the Obama Administration and General Motors when it comes to promoting green energy initiatives and the Chevy Volt; if nothing else, they are persistent. Unfortunately, that persistence continues to come at the expense of US taxpayers. The latest folly, as reported by Edmunds Inside Line, involves a $10.4 million grant from the Energy Department to create what Edmunds calls “Chevrolet Volt-ville.”

GM and OnStar have joined a partnership (which includes GE Energy, of course) that had been formed to create a community in Texas called Pecan Street Inc. GM says the community will be home to “the greatest concentration of Chevrolet Volts in the world.” In addition to the tax credits already available to Volt buyers, residents receive another $7,500 rebate for purchasing a Volt or $3,000 for leasing one.

Goals of Pecan Street include delivering “reliable and affordable energy to a growing population” and “possibly eliminate the need to construct polluting power plants.” Really? I don’t think that giving taxpayer money away to lower the cost of Volts makes them “affordable.” And any claim that this community can “eliminate the need to construct polluting power plants” is highly dubious. But when it comes to green energy initiatives and the Chevy Volt, it seems like over-promising and under-delivering is the norm.

GM has been falling well short of reaching sales goals for the Volt, despite loads of subsidies. I can see no benefit being derived from giving more taxpayer money away to promote Volt sales. This car should be allowed to succeed or fail in the free markets without the politically motivated support that is costing taxpayers billions of dollars. The Obama Administration continues to freely spend taxpayer dollars to promote an ideology that has not benefited America by significantly creating jobs or lessening foreign oil dependence. The Department of Energy continues to throw good money away after bad as it doubles-down on failing causes under the guise of a green policy that supposedly will free America from oil dependence. It is time to consider whether or not the country can afford to keep throwing money at a green cause that promises much, but delivers little.

Mark Modica is an NLPC Associate Fellow.