The PJ Tatler

GM spends millions on 'carbon offsets'

Last year, General Motors declared that it was paying back its massive loan from the government, in full, years ahead of schedule. That turned out to be a lot of hooey: Once GM’s tale got unpacked, it turned out that GM was using government money to pay back government money to get more government money. And guess what Government Motors is now doing with your money:

Chevrolet had signed an agreement with the Maine State Housing Authority, also known as MaineHousing, that would result in just under $1 million of weatherization work at low-income homes in Maine. The deal will cover weatherization work at about 170 housing units. …

The approval came just in time to get the attention of Chevrolet, which was looking to buy carbon offsets as part of a major public relations push. …

Chevrolet decided to invest $40 million on carbon offsets in the next three to five years to promote fuel efficiency in buildings, and solar, wind and wood energy projects. Its goal of reducing carbon emissions by 8 million metric tons nationwide is based on the emissions from the 1.9 million vehicles it expects to sell in the United States in 2011.

$40 million of your bucks to buy a little feel-good vibe, to market to you, by a company that hasn’t actually paid you back yet. It’s had the opposite effect on me. What’s that saying about not doing something and then telling me it’s raining?