Detroit, Mich. — Obama officials came to Detroit this week to tell businessmen gathered for the National Economic Summit that the future is green. And with the feds forcing a mandate for 35 mpg on small cars by 2015, who could disagree? The three-day hot-air fest was choked with the usual panels on going green, thinking smart, and achieving oil independence.
David Sandalow, the Energy Department’s assistant secretary for policy and international affairs, personally promoted Government Motors’ 2011 plug-in electric Chevy Volt, calling it the car of the future even though not a single one has been sold. Michigan’s Governor Granholm cheered Sandalow’s vision as did U.S. Commerce Sec. Gary Locke.
Meanwhile, just a stone’s throw away — or on the other side of the galaxy, depending on your perspective — GM headquarters was announcing that 900 idled Michigan workers were being brought back to meet rising demand for . . . SUVs.
That’s right. Sales of the high-profit vehicles that Obama routinely ridicules Detroit for builindg are once again hot. The Buick Enclave (18 mpg), Saturn Outlook (19 mpg) and GMC Acadia (19 mpg) have all seen sales rise by 15 percent since April. Adding a second shift at GM’s Delta Township plant is welcome news in a state where the unemployment rate rose to 14.1 percent last month. The SUV sales rebound has also reversed the shutdown of the automaker’s Spring Hill, Tenn., plant because of an increase in demand for the Chevy Traverse SUV, introduced last year to the chagrin of green Washington.
Sandalow, Granholm, and Locke were not present for GM’s jobs announcement. That’s no surprise. They’re not “green” jobs. They’re just real jobs.