That’s me on January 16, 2017, with my brand new Chevy Bolt EV Premier edition in my garage at home. I paid $47,000 in cash for that car as a #YearOfJoe gift to myself after a decade of environmental work and achievement.
Last week, as part of the little known and unadvertised “Bolt Buyback” program GM quietly created in response to the recall of all their 2017- 2019 Bolts, Chevy paid $37,900 to buy this car back from us. They then sold us a brand new 2021 Bolt EV Premier for $28,500.
In a deal brokered by the city’s newly commissioned Citizens Environmental Task Force, Exxon/Mobil, owners of the Exxon/Mobil Refinery in the City of Torrance agreed today to fund a bond that will make low cost financing of solar energy systems for home and apartment owners. The loans for solar power, authorized under California’s AB 811, are added as assessments to a homeowner’s property tax bills and are passed on to the new owner if a home is sold.
Without Exxon Mobil’s funding of the financing bonds the program would not have had the money to offer loans in Torrance. The city had no money in the budget to make the program possible and no plans to find any in the midst of the on-going economic crisis. But Exxon/Mobil had no such money problems. “We’ve had one record profit quarter after another,” said a spokesperson for the oil company.
“We are so cash rich at the moment that we’re spending money all over the place while everyone else is forced to cut back. We know carbon taxes are coming and we won’t always be floating in a sea of profits we made at your expense. So it seemed only logical that we give a little back to a community we’ve released an awful lot of carbon in. Hell, that entire property our refinery’s on will probably be a superfund site after they force us to stop producing our fossil fuels.“
The Kaweah Cottage we’ve been staying in was designed to accommodate solar panels. The Cottage is perfectly situated for unobstructed power generation and James Seligman, the owner and our host has everything – including the wiring – in place for a solar system – everything that is except the financing. It’s not going to be cheap, but eventually he’ll get it done. That’s just another thing James and I found we had in common.
I really enjoyed meeting James and getting to spend some time talking with him. He’s a righteous dude, a fellow Mac user, filmmaker, peace lover and progressive environmentalist, just like your pal the Creative Greenius.