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Opening Arguments

The green hoax

I know Indiana politicians are always looking for ways to prove that we're not a backward state. But do we have to prove we're with it by trying to create green energy nightmares every bit as foolish as Solyndra?

The view from inside Think City's plant here is the worst nightmare for politicians betting on electric vehicles to drive job growth: 100 cars, most of them not finished, lined up with no word on their future.

Only two years ago the tiny Think cars (two can fit in a regular parking space) were expected to bring more than 400 jobs to this ailing city and a lifeline to suppliers who once made parts for gas guzzling recreational vehicles.

"We've said we're out to make Indiana the electric vehicle state. It's beginning to look like the state capital will be Elkhart County," Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels said in January 2010 in announcing government incentives used to lure Think to his state.

Instead, the Hoosier state's big bet has been a bust. The plant is devoid of activity; there are just two employees. A Russian investor who recently purchased Think's bankrupt parent in Norway has been silent about its future. A government-backed Indianapolis battery-maker that was to supply Think wrote off a $73 million investment in the car company and Thursday declared bankruptcy. Two unrelated electric truck-makers that Indiana planned to nurture have yet to get off the ground.

It's a sign of how delusional the ruling class has become over green energy that politicians of all political persuasions in Indiana have fallen for the hype; it's not just the Obama statists in Washington pushing the green hoax. All the subsidies were supposed to create a car cheap enough to be enticing to most drivers. What they ended up with was "a plastic two-seater with a top speed of about 65 miles an hour and a price tag approaching $42,000." They always think they can con people into taking what they don't really want. Worse, they think they can hurry along science with enough money and good intentions.

And while we're wasting hundreds of millions on this nonsense, a pipeline that could have created thousands of jobs and helped the world become less dependent on oil from the Mideast was killed. Coal mines are closing because they can't meet new EPA regulations. Drilling for oil here has been halted. Crazy world.