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An Electrifying Irony (False hopes and promises in the transportation market)

By Kenneth P. Green -- April 3, 2009

To those who have a memory that transcends more than a few weeks, recent events in the auto sector must induce a great feeling of irony.

Back in August of 2008, then-candidate Obama called for 1 million plug-in hybrid vehicles to be on the road by 2015.

To that end, then-candidate Obama called for:

*$4 billion in tax credits to American automakers to retool plants for the production of plug-in hybrid cars capable of 150 miles to the gallon;

*A $7,000 tax credit for consumers who bought early model plug-in vehicles; and

*Candidate Obama vowed that half of all cars purchased by the federal government would be plug-in hybrids or all-electric by 2012.

As both candidate and president, Obama has repeatedly raised plug-in hybrids as a vital technology for greening Detroit.…