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Two stories from Environmental Leader this morning, offered without comment.

GM’s Bob Lutz: Global Warming Is A ‘Crock Of Shit’

boblutz2.jpgDuring a closed-door session with reporters in January, Bob Lutz, General Motors’ vice chairman, said that global warming is a “total crock of shit,” dmagazine.com reports (via BusinessGreen). Then he added: “I’m a skeptic, not a denier.”

GM PR executive Dee Allen was on hand. Unfortunately, we don’t know what might have gone through her mind at that moment. Allen later said that Lutz’s comment was a personal opinion, rather than a reflection of GM’s values.

Lutz also said that hybrid cars like those made by Toyota “make no economic sense,” because their price will never come down, and diesel autos like those touted by Chrysler are also uneconomic.

Lutz has overseen an increased focus on the development of low carbon vehicles at GM, BusinessGreen reports.

Yesterday, on GM’s Fast Lane blog, Lutz responded to the criticism his words have raised in a blog post titled “Talk About a Crock…”

“An offhand comment I made recently about the concept of global warming seems to have a lot of people heated, and it’s spreading through the Internet like ragweed,” Lutz wrote. “But I think that the people making big deal out of it are missing the real point. My beliefs are mine and I have a right to them, just as you have a right to yours. But among my strongest beliefs is that my job is to do what makes the most business sense for GM. Never mind what I said, or the context in which I said it. My thoughts on what has or hasn’t been the cause of climate change have nothing to do with the decisions I make to advance the cause of General Motors. ”

Lutz might be focusing on the wrong part of the story. What’s most interesting here is his seeming surprise that when GM’s vice chairman tells a group of reporters that global warming is a crock of shit, people are going to talk about it.

And then this:

Auto Industry Spent $62 Million On Lobbying In 2007

capital2.jpgMajor U.S. automakers and industry trade associations spent $62.6 million on lobbying in 2007, compared with $50.3 million in 2006, according to a Free Press analysis of federal disclosure forms. The energy bills and the Bush administration’s efforts to craft new fuel rules dominated their spending.

GM’s total, its highest ever, likely places it among the top 10 spenders for 2007. Of the six top U.S. automakers, five spent more in 2007 than 2006. Ford’s spending declined from $9.1 million in 2006 to $7.1 million in 2007.

Discuss among yourselves.