Friday, June 17, 2005


He's Wrong

Toyota should buy out GM says Thomas Friedman in his most recent NYT piece, which while somewhat plausible based on Toyota's six times larger market capitalization is used primarily as a provocative point to allow him to extol the virtue of the "geo-green" movement that he's been attempting to advocate into existence. Along the way, Friedman says that the US should make incentives for the building of hybrid vehicles which can be plugged in so that the nation can have greater energy independence. His rationale for the increased independence is that "We don't import electricity. We generate all of our needs with coal, hydropower, nuclear power and natural gas." He's wrong. While I'm pretty sure that we domestically supply a larger fraction of our electricity needs that we do our petroleum needs, the US does import electricity from both of its neighbors. Furthermore, the US imports a good deal of natural gas, usually in the form of LNG, much of which is used to generate electricity.

While I agree with Friedman that pluggable hybrids are a good, technically accessible idea that probably ought to be encouraged by the government, I'm a little annoyed at his factuality gaffe.

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