Friday, July 13, 2007

Baseball, hot dogs and hybrid vehicles

Saturday, July 07, 2007
Business Insider
Baseball, hot dogs and hybrid vehicles
The Detroit News

For Tuesday's Major League Baseball All-Star Game in San Francisco, Fox Sports is renting 30 "environmentally friendly" vehicles for its personnel.

Fox Sports employees will drive vehicles from EV Rental Car, including the Ford Escape Hybrid, Toyota Highlander Hybrid, Toyota Prius and Honda Civic Hybrid. But they won't be driving any Chevy products, despite the fact that General Motors Corp. is a major sponsor of Major League Baseball.

"Driving hybrid vehicles falls in line with our company's environmental initiatives, and we wholeheartedly support EV Rental Cars in their efforts to share the experience of driving 'green' with those renting vehicles across the U.S.," said Jerry Steinberg, senior vice president of Field & Technical Operations at Fox Sports.

But Chevy isn't being totally shut out. On Friday, the Malibu hybrid made its public debut at the All-Star Fan Fest. On Monday, Chevy E85 flex-fuel vehicles will transport players in the All-Star parade, and on Tuesday night, the MVP of the game will win a Tahoe Hybrid vehicle.

GM spokesman Greg Martin noted that large SUVs can more efficiently carry lots of people and gear than smaller hybrids, especially if they are running on E85, an alternative fuel made mostly of ethanol. "Sometimes the rush to assume a green mantle outpaces common sense," Martin said.

A Chevy Tahoe running on E85 for 15,000 miles will use 130 gallons less gasoline than a compact hybrid. And the Tahoe can haul twice as many people and gear, Martin added.

Alive and blogging

General Motors Corp.'s Bob Lutz channeled Mark Twain on his recent video blog posted on GM's Fastlane Web site and on YouTube. In other words, rumors of his death and that of GM's Buick brand have been greatly exaggerated.

The silver-haired and still gimlet-eyed 75-year-old opened the video saying "Hello everybody, I sort of came to the conclusion that it's time to get on camera and assure you that that I am still alive and still working for the company -- still vertical and taking solid nourishment."

He then went to say that Buick, a brand born 104 years ago, also is alive and well.

We just call her Mary

You have heard of POTUS and FLOTUS, the Secret Service code names for the president and the first lady of the United States. But even Cabinet secretaries get cool nicknames these days.

In e-mails released by the Transportation Department this week about its efforts to lobby members of Congress to oppose California's proposed emissions standards, Transportation Secretary Mary Peters is referred to as "S1." The name refers to her mail code.

"Can you go brief S1 on the calls, etc. when she gets in? Should be any minute," wrote Husein Cumber to the department's deputy chief of staff Simon Gros on June 7.

Cumber, an assistant to the secretary, raised more than $200,000 for the Bush/Cheney re-election campaign as the youngest "Ranger" at age 28. Does that make him R1?

Contributors: David Shepardson, Mark Truby

© Copyright 2007 The Detroit News. All rights reserved.


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