Gasoline and Diesel: Driving America !

After letting its administrative gas-powered cylinders cool for a couple of months, the Imperial Greens within our Central Government are back at it, cymbals clanging, raging again about the supposed advantages of electric-powered vehicles.  You remember: Gasoline = Evil.  Electric=The Left’s only right choice. All the while continuing to avoid mentioning the FACT that the magic of electric power is only made possible thanks to fossil fuels (currently providing 80% of it)!  Demanding new emissions limits for vehicles in America is intended to drive us, make that force us, into the newly outstretched arms of the government’s EV pushers within the limited years ahead. A Republican WH win in 2024 would very likely change the entire equation to be discussed below.  We can hope.

Rather than fool around with that old time-consuming Congress, and all that Constitutional separation of powers nonsense, Mr. Biden has just issued another edict, this one via the EPA: “By 2030, 54% of new (manufactured) passenger vehicles must be electric.“ Then, not satisfied with that plan, within hours, the Imperial White House said, hey, ignore that. We can make it even more onerous for everyone. So, then, instead of 54%, since we control the throne, let’s jack that up to “67% of new cars and light trucks must be electric by 2032.”  Along with unacceptable overbearing power in what is supposed to be a freedom-first Constitutional-Republic, this mandate is inappropriate and absolutely ridiculous.  Who gave the Executive Branch the authority to in effect order the “fundamental transformation” of the American automotive industry, creating new jobs for many, while causing many others in the internal-combustion sector to lose theirs?

The Progressives-in-control (and, remember, this is not really about EV’s, but rather ALL about federal control) are now trying to dictate what type of vehicles we citizen-peasants will be ‘allowed’ to purchase in the years ahead, with only 33% of new vehicles then left for those on the right who prefer the safety, security, cost, and ready availability of traditional fuel, despite the touted roll-out of charging stations (and literally, charging: as the time-consuming re-powering will in fact be a cost to drivers), all across the fruited plain.

Recently polled Americans, for some reason liking the outdated concept of free choice, told data collectors that they are 47% “Not too likely / Not at all likely” to purchase EV’s.  In 2022, only 5.8% of new cars purchased were EV’s.  So, it appears that Americans may be in for several years of Big Government pile-driving the joy of EV’s down our throats. However, there is a major stumbling block to the government’s empowering dictate. And that’s the current state of our aging national power grid.  “Independent estimates indicate that we need to expand electricity transmission systems by 60% by 2030, and may need to triple it by 2050, to meet the country’s increase in renewable generation and expanding electrification needs.”  And that estimate, and warning, was made by the U.S. Department of Energy last May, almost a year ago!

Oh, but don’t worry about power.  Wind mills and sun reflectors will take care of that need.  Not even close (20% best case).  Regardless of D.C.’s mega-battery ‘dream-weavers,’ whatever we may be doing to reduce CO2 here at home, will continue to be overwhelmed by the annual “320-billion-ton cloud of Red Chinese carbon”!  And that all assumes, again, that mankind is actually responsible for the fable that we, and not God Almighty, are really responsible for, and thus controlling, the increasingly worrisome weather impacting the United States.

A recent Washington Post headline stated: “Biden to remake U.S. auto industry with toughest emissions limits ever.” The term “remake” could just as easily have been “punish” the American auto industry.  Mr. Biden “announced the strictest restrictions on auto emissions ever, in an ambitious and fraught bid to advance the president’s climate agenda by forcing U.S. car companies to rapidly accelerate the transition to electric vehicles.” As Michael Reagan stated in his article: “We’re now the ‘Land of the Mandate and the home of the Executive Order.” No sense bothering Congress over something as simple as transforming the entire American (world?) auto industry when dictates from atop the mountain are so much easier. The “draconian emission limits,” wrote Davide Harsanyl, represent “state coercion.  It is undemocratic.  We are not governed; we are managed.”  In a recent Wall Street Journal editorial, reflected on this canon shot of assumed executive power: “Even with the Inflation Reduction Act’s subsidies, the Energy Information Administration last month forecast that EV’s will make up only 15% of sales by 2030, and 19% by 2050. While EV’s are becoming more popular in the luxury class, they remain less competitive against conventional gasoline-powered cars and light trucks serving the mass market.” Those projections in mind, auto executives themselves are said to be less confident about EV adoption to the extent of those government-anticipated percentages.  “For the U.S., the median expectation for EV sales was 35% of the new vehicle market by 2030, markedly down from 65% a year earlier.  A KPMG survey on this issue found that “84% of automotive executives are concerned that inflation and high interest rates will adversely affect their business.” One current example is that Ford, reportedly, lost $2-billion with the EV sector of its business in 2022, offset only by “big profits in its fleet and legacy units.”

A continuing worry over significantly ramping up future EV production is the fact that China effectively controls a large portion of the required rare minerals and metals required for EV battery production. That puts this anti-drilling / anti-mining administration in the position of having to acquire mining facilities in other friendly nations and/or resume mining for the needed metals here at home, something that activists are bound to find objectionable, despite the goal of cutting way down on gasoline production.  That means that political stability with China and others is vital to the continuing supply of necessary components for EV assembly here.

In addition to the availability of vital minerals and metals for domestic manufacturing of EV’s, there remains the issue of the initial cost of the vehicle.  And don’t let anything happen to that vehicle battery.  Reports this past year have indicated that replacing that mega-battery in an EV car can actually resemble the original cost of the vehicle itself!  Then there’s the continuing issue of charging.  If you pay to install a charger at your home, which most owners will do, one can slow-charge overnight.  Unknown still is the comparative cost of electricity to do that vs. the price of gas over a month’s time.  If you can find a commercial charger at a convenience store (which will cost you via credit card), likely for now, more difficult in small towns or as of yet along the highway, “fast” charging time can run about 20-to-30-mintes vs. 5-minutes+ at the traditional pump. If gas remains comparatively inexpensive, as it seems to be right now, chances are good that the cost of your gas vs. your at-home & on the road charging electricity, will be less than the cost of charging.  Thus, the incentive for the federal government to do all it can to drive up the cost of gasoline at the pump!!  The Feds do that by cutting back on corporate production through more onerous regulation, directly impacting the ability of U.S. fossil fuel producers to hit output goals that match public gasoline demand.  Cheaper gasoline will always be the enemy of EV adoption.

And then there is the alleged impact on the environment through fewer gasoline-powered vehicles on the road.  Essentially, it appears at present, there actually is no ‘golden goose’ positive impact.  Said Larry Kudlow during a recent interview: “What the Biden administration is doing is not about clean air, which in the U.S. is already the cleanest of any large economy.  No, no, what they’re trying to do is to destroy the fossil fuel industry. Period, full stop. They’re also aiming for a command-and-control takeover of the entire U.S. auto industry.  This is the biggest industry takeover since Joe Stalin met Vladimir Lenin.”  Still more likely truth about our Central Government’s true motive in forcing our automakers to convert their production facilities, often requiring new factories, to EV production, rather than the dependable, century-old manufacturing of gasoline-powered vehicles. And speaking of emissions, wrote Wall Street Journal columnist Holman W. Jenkins, Jr.: “Swapping out a gasoline engine for a battery eliminates only half (at best) of lifetime emissions (0.18%!). The climate effect of the extravagantly expensive Biden plan will steadily approach zero. The convoluted Biden plan is an EV fetish masquerading as political thought.”

Beyond alleged positive EV environmental impact vs. apparently very little in comparison to gasoline-powered vehicles , even if pump prices remain low, there are still the expensive issues for government-pressured manufacturers of finding sufficient “paper-thin steel” required for EV production, and the metals/minerals required for battery production, currently mined overseas, unless the federal government loosens restrictions on domestic mining, although we’ll still be largely dependent, in the near term at least, on China for those large and heavy EV batteries.  By the way, with the recent collapse of that older parking garage in New York City, concern is now raised about the possible danger of too many EV SUV’s parking on upper floors of older garages, due to the major increase in vehicle weight from those large batteries. Add to that vague possibility two more battery concerns: (1) Fires (which pose new challenges to firefighters when attempting to put them out), and (2) Credit Card security as hackers are predicted go after EV drivers, skimming information, at along-the-road charging stations.  Just a couple of additional annoying and/or alarming things to consider.

Oh, and has anyone seriously (the answer is no) considered what impact this exaggerated heavy push to manufacturers and consumers to make & purchase EV’s, as the forced national standard, will have on farmers and their equipment (could be a similar concern for heavy construction equipment users).  If, in fact, the federal push goes that deep into our economy.  Given the complexity, seems best to leave our farm production folks alone, especially at those times during the season (harvest, especially) when operations are required to go long-hours and days at a time.

And back to consumer concerns on the road. We must stop to consider the likely delays and heavy back-up chaos at the so-far insufficient number of available charging stations during a weather evacuation.  At this point in time and certainly for a few years to come, charging station availability is a major factor (hurdle) in the event of suggested or mandatory evacuation, regardless of cause. Vehicles will end up in long lines at the relatively few charging stations or, far worse, with dead batteries stranded along the highway. The federal EV push is a problem now with insufficient charging stations, and then in the future with heavy added electrical demand on the nation’s aging grid system in need of very expensive upgrading throughout our country.

A great many things to consider before purchasing an EV (other than initial cost!) unless it’s use is purely for in-town home-to-work or shopping travel, with an installed home charging station. Otherwise, this whole renewed federal push on EV use is an actual case of the cart being well, well, ahead of the horse.  Bottom line: EV’s are not emissions-free. And for a number of valid reasons, America is nowhere near ready for a major switch away from gasoline-powered vehicles. Period.  And, hey, government mystics: Hands off the major U.S. fuel producers who will, thankfully, continue to drive America for many years to come.


(Fact Sources:  EPA’s new EV manufacturing and purchase rules, and purchases to date, via, Deroy Murdock, 4-16-23; Post headline and strict restrictions on auto emissions via, Michael Reagan, 4-15-23;  Not governed, but managed via, David Harsanyi, 4-14-23; Prediction of percentage of EV sales in years ahead via, Scott Johnson, 4-14-23’; Auto executives less optimistic about EV adoption via, Lauren Fix, 3-17-23; Ford loses with EV’s in 2022, but gains with regular gasoline-powered units via, John Rosevear, 3-23-23;  Not clean air, but destroying the U.S. auto industry via, Rebecca Mansour, 4-13-23; Minimal impact of emissions on the environment via The Wall Street Journal, Holman W. Jenkins, Jr., 4-19-23; Credit card information hacking at charging stations via The Wall Street Journal, James Rundle, 4-24-23).