Today’s Lesson on the “Green Cars” Oxymoron

buick city

Today, we get news of the latest Obama bailout of corporate capitalists. Today, it comes in this form:

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration has reached a deal on a $773 million environmental trust, the largest of its kind in U.S. history, to clean up dozens of former General Motors sites spread over 14 states, officials said Wednesday.

The funds will target automotive sites containing hazardous waste that were left shuttered by the auto giant’s bankruptcy last year. About half of the 89 sites covered by the trust are in Michigan and others are in Indiana, New York and Ohio.

At GM’s abandoned Massena, New York complex, the pool of PCBs is so deep it has not yet been (and possible could never be) even measured, despite decades of controversy.

One effect of this toxic lake? “[New York] State-conducted studies have found PCBs in the breast milk of nursing Mohawk mothers and in their infants.”

All this and more (dig the name of the bankrupt corporate shell of the “old GM” — Motors Liquidation Company (MLC) — where’d the “General” and the “GM” go, boys?) is interesting in its own sordid Obamian right.

But permit me to enlarge: The more general point is that manufacturing automobiles is inherently energy-, materials-, and toxics-intensive. “Green car” is an oxymoron, whatever motor ones stick in.

Car Materials