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NBC: 'Green' Vehicles the Key to Detroit's Rebirth

   What happens when you take one of the nation’s poorest major cities and combine it with the media’s enviro-hysteria? According to NBC “Nightly News,” you get the solution to the once-great city of Detroit’s woes.


     “[W]ith gas prices up and global warming at the forefront, Americans are looking for better mileage and cleaner cars these days,” said NBC “Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams, broadcasting on July 24 from Detroit.


     NBC correspondent Kevin Tibbles, doing his best impersonation of Michael Moore in a British hospital, asked Sue Cischke, senior vice president of Ford Motor Company, “so, where do you put the gas?” about a car the runs on hydrogen and electricity and part of Ford’s “experimental green fleet of the future.”


     Detroit has seen better days. The city has experienced a 26-percent population decline since 1980 and 31-percent of its current residents are in poverty according to 2005 U.S. Census estimates. Detroit has also seen the negative results of massive union influence most prominently in auto manufacturing. Still, NBC found a green hope for the city’s future.


     Tibbles’ report embraced General Motors Vice President Bob Lutz for his rhetoric about creating “greener” vehicles. “And while analysts predict it could take five years for Detroit to pull even [with Japan in the production of hybrid vehicles], Lutz doesn’t think it’s too little, too late,” Tibbles said.


     Lutz was once demonized by media critics for downplaying the auto industry’s role in carbon emissions, writing that the vehicles worldwide actually account for 0.4 percent of total global carbon dioxide. “It is simply wrong to continually single out the mobile sector as the major culprit,” Lutz wrote in a letter to the Detroit News on Dec. 14, 2006.


     Yet, now that Lutz and the Motor City is going green anything is possible including the revitalization of Detroit.


     “It may not be easy, but for Detroit, it’s essential,” Tibbles said. 

     According to Tibbles, the “green” seeds sewn are already reaping benefits. Lutz has already ordered the hiring 150 new workers for the General Motors’ hybrid production efforts. But Tibbles didn’t provide the perspective that 150 new jobs in a city of 879,000 residents and 8.1 percent unemployment is just a drop in the bucket.