Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Brian Gosch has been listening to too much Michael Medved

At the first DIA forum down the street from me in Robbinsdale tonight, I heard Brian Gosch (Robbinsdale's unelected [Gov. Marion Rounds-appointed] State House Rep) assert (in the context of illustrating the difficulties in even considering switching to alternative transportation fuels in the State) emphatically twice that hybrid cars cost $10,000 more than conventional vehicles. Typical Republican: we can't do that new thing... it costs too much, we don't deserve it, etc... I guess in South Dakota the Republicans are the party of no.

He seemed very sure about this. Maybe he was listening to Michael Medved, right wing radio hack, trash hybrid vehicles as he is wont to do.... instead of looking at the facts.

Carseek.com says:
It is true that the initial cost of such a car is generally $3,000 - $6,000 higher than a similarly-sized conventional vehicle, but there are post-purchase savings that may off-set the initial outlay.

Earth to Gosch: that's less than half of your $10K number you probably heard on right-wing radio.

Hybrids are a great idea and Detroit has dropped the ball by not getting into the game and concentrating on short-term profit selling SUVs.

Hybrids are a VERY viable option, which is why they are on waiting lists instead of on sale, even though they cost a little more. In fact although the list price of my Prius went down right soon after I bought it, erasing my tax rebate benefits, I'm not complaining--because my family is still way ahead:

  • Fuel savings of 35% (at $4 a gallon that adds up)
  • Since you slow down using the electric generator instead of brakes, you save on power train, tire, and brake wear.
  • Hybrid cars (like our Prius) generally come with comfortable extras like pushbutton start and and nice stereo systems (and you can hear the stereo!)
  • Cheap maintenance. Gosch said to his formidable Democratic opponent Bethany Wojahn "Well, I hope you car's battery doesn't die because those are $10-$15K to replace." Alert to Brian G: if you bothered to read Consumer Reports, hybrids have had a very good track record, largely because the battery is just part of the system, they are gas + electric. That's why they call it a hybrid.

    UPDATE: As of January 2010 my Prius batteries are doing just fine, thank you.
It makes one wonder what else he asserts that he doesn't have a clue about. I'm sure we'll find out during the next 49 days. Gosch also said that putting Rapid City's buses on compressed natural gas is not possible because "when we had it before, the City found them expensive to maintain. Maybe with new technology it's better, but I don't know." Well... we could Use The Google and look at what our government has posted on the internet. Heck, why not: NREL: Natural Gas Buses: Separating Myth from Fact


  1. CP, my favorite neocon (my husband) says exactly the same thing, and will not hear anything else. When I try to present the facts, he interrupts me and won't allow me to finish.

    It is like, "Don't confuse me with facts--my mind is made up!"

  2. I'm sure he's a very nice guy, but the right wing noise machine is very good at slowly training otherwise bright, compassionate people not to thing critically on certain focus-group issues.

    Huxley called it "groupthink." He saw Fox News coming way back in the 50s. But I still think he'd be impressed today at what they have accomplished.