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February 10th, 2021:

EVs Are the Lowest Climate Priority

American Energy Coalition - February 10th, 2021

“The Joe Biden administration will be piling a lot of chips on electric cars, the most popular and least useful way of fighting climate change. How much do the cars you and I drive actually contribute to emissions?, asks an article recently published in the Wall Street Journal.

“Don’t ask the Union of Concerned Scientists, an EV promoter habituated to quickly changing the subject to “transportation” emissions. Many inventories also ignore the full range of greenhouse emissions, focusing on CO2 to foster a nevertheless-untenable illusion that passenger cars provide leverage over a global climate problem. No matter how you fiddle the data, personal EVs are a single-digit factor and belong low on any sane list of priorities.”

“If the Environmental Protection Agency is right, the average light vehicle racks up 11,500 miles a year and sits idle 96% of the time. The World Resources Institute says passenger vehicles account for 7.5% of all emissions, but this includes buses, taxis, etc. Rental cars average 31,000 miles. Other fleet vehicles average 23,000 or more. Heavy trucks average 63,000 miles. One finding that appalled fleet operators is that their vehicles spend up to 33% of their time idling, which is not how people treat their personal vehicles.”

“The International Energy Agency in 2016 estimated that if 50% of all new cars were electric, petroleum use would continue to grow because of “trucks, aviation and the petrochemical industry and we don’t have major alternatives to oil products there”, says the Journal story.

‘Exxon Mobile estimated more recently that if all new cars were electric by 2025, and the world’s entire fleet were electric by 2040, liquid-fuel demand in 2040 would be the same as 2013’s.”

“Few talk about it, but mining battery-related minerals generates emissions too. An electric car that’s sitting in your garage, not displacing a significant amount of gasoline-powered transportation but still sucking power out of a wall socket, can be a net emissions contributor when all is said and done.”

“Which brings us to another wrinkle. Tesla could likely make its electric cars profitably but instead scales its business to break even on fuel-economy credits sold to conventional car makers. Follow the money. Tesla is dipping into the same pickup-truck revenue stream that Ford and GM use to subsidize their own electric vehicles.”

“When GM recently waved a press release saying it might produce nothing but electric cars in 2035 given the right government policies, it was essentially boasting of its relationship with Mr. Biden, whose favorite line was once “bin Laden is dead, General Motors is alive”, reports the WSJ.

“GM expects to do well under revamped Obama fuel-economy rules that, yes, have put more EVs on the road. By the EPA’s own calculation, any emissions gains have also been offset five times over by the pickup truck and SUV boom that Team Obama facilitated to ensure a successful auto bailout.”

“Lesson: When government seeks to do complicated things while appeasing multiple constituencies, it usually produces absurd results. And even less talked about is the 57-year-old U.S. pickup truck tariff that further entrenches this Detroit business model.”

“EVs are wonderful for many reasons but not for the reasons that climate-sanctimonious politicians promote. I won’t repeat an earlier column on climate policies that might actually be worth pursuing. Notice that the one innovation that greens opposed, fracking, has done more to reduce emissions than all government efforts combined.”

“Everybody’s behavior here is explicable except the greens, who have sold out to the EV distraction for rewards unrelated to progress on climate change. Mr. Biden himself is a nice man and politician of the type who seldom sees that what is popular and sounds good isn’t necessarily good. He spent the ’70s and ’80s pushing legislation to worsen America’s energy crisis and, incidentally, promote coal globally though scientists even then warned about acid rain and climate effects”, notes the Wall Street Journal article.

“Let’s end with a look at GM’s Super Bowl ad, featuring the comedic actor Will Ferrell envying Norway’s love affair with electric vehicles. What the ad lacked in wit it also lacked in informational value.”

“Norwegians are indeed keen EV buyers because their politicians ladle on the tax handouts, free parking, half-price tolls and even free charge-ups in some jurisdictions. These indulgences are financed how? Tiny Norway, with 0.07% of the planet’s population, exports 3% of the world’s oil and 14% of its natural gas. Its sovereign-wealth fund, where these riches accumulate, tops $1.3 trillion, or $245,000 per citizen.”

“Norway is an unrepresentative EV hothouse in every way except one. Like the rest of the world, it’s been unwilling to let EV companies develop free of distorting subsidies from fossil-fuel users that will be difficult ever to remove. Here’s the tragic part: The politics of these handouts is almost guaranteed to suck the air out of the room for things that might actually make a difference…”

To read the original Wall Street Journal story, go to:

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