History may someday record today as the beginning of the end of the internal combustion engine – and of individual liberty in the U.S.
According to news reports, the EPA is scheduled to release proposed auto emissions standards today on new car sales so stringent that the only way for automakers to meet them would be to shift two-thirds of their fleet to electric.
But wait. How can a regulatory agency do that? Consumers aren’t demanding electric cars. Lawmakers didn’t vote to force them on the public. The Environmental Protection Agency knows better, though, and, unless it’s neutered, plans to force EVs on you – for your own good.
As the Washington Post helpfully explains, “while the rule changes wouldn’t order or require auto companies to sell a certain number of electric vehicles, it would set emissions limits so tightly the only way to comply would be to sell large percentages of EVs.”
To be clear, we are not talking about air pollution. We are talking about emissions of carbon dioxide, which is not a pollutant but which the EPA has assumed the power to regulate.
The stated goal is to have up to 67% of new cars sold by 2032 be fully electric. (Today, EVs make up a tiny 6% of auto sales.)
The EPA’s latest salvo has put the auto industry in a bind. Having leaped into bed with environmental radicals and the Biden administration in years past, it now finds itself at the mercy of the federal government when it comes to what cars it will be allowed to sell.
The Washington Post notes that “The most aggressive options in the EPA’s proposal are so stringent that many automakers, especially those slowest to adopt electric cars and trucks, will see it as more aggressive than what they can realistically meet.”
We hate to say we told you so, but we told you so. Back in 2011, when we were with the now-defunct IBD editorials page. That year, automakers lined up to support the Obama administration’s ridiculously strict 54.5 miles per gallon fuel-economy standard, which was also designed to force-feed electric cars into the market. Instead of fighting, automakers bent the knee.
“Whatever their reason for caving in to White House demands,” we observed at the time, “the fact is that carmakers have just handed over their businesses lock, wheel, and engine to the dictates of government bureaucrats and global warming enthusiasts.”
Today, we will make another prediction.
That is: The EPA’s move will set off an intra-industry battle, with companies that have already sold their corporate souls to the climate change crowd “heroically” fighting for stricter EV mandates, while those that want to sell cars consumers demand will plead for regulatory leniency and get branded as heretics.
We also predict that none of these automakers will have the stones to argue that this entire socialistic campaign is horribly misguided. That it is a vast overreach of government power. That it is an affront to our basic liberties. That it will cost consumers a fortune. That it will be massively disruptive. And that, even if the EPA gets its way, it will achieve nothing climate-wise.
And that no matter how many concessions automakers make, climate hysterics will never be satisfied … until private ownership of cars is completely outlawed.
Can the EPA be stopped? Yes, but only if consumers rise up and demand an end to this regulatory dictatorship.
— Written by the I&I Editorial Board