GM CEO Shoves Environmental Protester

Nov. 29, 2006 — -- The chairman and CEO of General Motors today gave a shove to a protester at the Los Angeles Auto Show who asked for a pledge to make GM the leader in fuel economy by 2010.

"I appreciate your support and I'm sorry, you have to leave now," GM chairman Rick Wagoner said, giving a push to Matt Leonard of the Rainforest Action Network.

Leonard, and Mike Hudema of the environmental organization Global Exchange, walked onto the stage at the Los Angeles Auto Show near Wagoner's podium carrying a large "pledge form" for Wagoner to sign. Both men were wearing suits and went to the podium unchallenged, quietly behaving as if they were part of the program.

Leonard said, "I have with me a pledge for Rick to sign here committing General Motors to become the leader in fuel economy by 2010. Rick, could you do the honors?"

Wagoner quickly replied, "I think my speech spoke for itself," before telling the two men to "take it away."

The incident occurred just after GM's chief had delivered a morning speech about the company's plans for green vehicles, including plug-in hybrids and hydrogen fuel-cell cars, in an effort to find new forms of propulsion.

The big push from many car companies at this show is to convince the public they are concerned about the price of gasoline and the health of the economy.

Ford, General Motors, Chrysler and BMW are introducing cars with new technology and prototypes for cars to come in the future.