By Peter Murphy for CFACT on April 29th, 2023
The President of the United States, Joseph Biden, gets more obsessed about climate change with each passing week. One recent example came last month is his latest attack on the automobile industry and the tens of millions of Americans who like and need the gasoline cars it produces. This obsession and its wider implications will only accelerate America’s demise from a prosperous and powerful nation.
The Biden administration is driving up the price of gasoline cars to force electric vehicles on anyone remaining who can afford them. They are doing this with new draconian emissions standards on new vehicles beginning in 2027, which must be reduced by more than half by 2032.
For example, cars and light-duty trucks have as a regulatory standard 186 grams per mile of carbon dioxide for 2026 models, which the administration now proposes to reduce to 82 grams per mile in nine years. Cutting already low emissions in half again makes for more expensive cars to manufacture and sell, which means fewer Americans affording and owning them.
Automobile industry analysts and even the Washington Post cautioned how aggressive and unrealistic are these proposed emission regulations, including the inability to manufacture, sell and support such a volume of EVs in the near term.
Not to worry, says Albert Gore, the executive director of the Zero Admission Transportation Association (not the former VP and pioneer climate crackpot & grifter, but another Gore). Mr. Gore claimed the administration’s regulations are “eminently achievable” and that “millions of advanced manufacturing jobs” will be created.
The auto industry is becoming a shell of its former self and inexorably transforming to an agency of the federal government. Look at the once vaunted Ford Motor Company, which announced last month the company’s electrical vehicle unit is projected to lose $3 billion this year and will not turn a profit before three years, if ever, absent massive government intervention. Ford’s CEO also expressed spot-on concern about the vulnerability of securing minerals for EV batteries from overseas.
Using Orwellian semantics, Michael Regan, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, assured us that these emission mandates are “following the market trends” and that the government is not requiring auto makers to produce electric vehicles. He further claimed the regulations will save $12,000 over the life of a vehicle not subject to the emission standards. In other words, since gasoline vehicles will be made much more expensive–by the government, not the “market”–and need more maintenance such as oil changes, consumers will purportedly save money on EVs.
Margo Oge, a former head of the EPA’s Transportation and Air Quality division during the Obama administration, made clear these new regulations are about “reduc[ing] the worst aspects of climate change,” including hurricanes, tornados, and wildfires as reported by CBS News. Typically, there’s no indication CBS asked Ms. Oge or other climate extremists for evidence that lower CO2 emissions will affect the weather.
The only way these new automobile emission standards come into being is by massive government intervention in the marketplace, not only by mandating them through regulation, but through massive taxpayer subsidies to auto makers and consumers to prop up the whole self-defeating endeavor, including those “millions” of new jobs. In fact, so-called “green” policies to force-feed wind, solar and electric vehicles are all about upending the free market, consumer preferences and liberty itself.
Before American consumers “save” money, on purchasing electric cars, we all will be paying much more in auto prices, taxes and overall inflation (via more government debt) to attempt the forced transition to EVs. This is not a theoretical prediction. It is economically occurring now from Biden’s climate policies.
Lower carbon emission mandates also may fall well short. A recent study published in the journal Productions and Operations Management found that lower emission standards by the European Union between 2000 and 2014 failed to curtail on-road emissions and increases the likelihood of non-compliance by automakers.
As more Americans cannot afford their own cars, gasoline or electric, our freedom and lifestyle choices will become more limited, including where we work and live. This is ultimately the objective of climate change extremists, that is, force more Americans to live in cities in “retro-fitted” high-rise buildings, use mass transit and ride bicycles – all in a futile effort to lower carbon emissions and save the planet, neither of which is assured, much less provable.
Imposing more expensive and restrictive living standards translates to a less free and weaker America. These ominous trends will not be siloed in transportation and energy, but include the withering of constitutional freedoms. The same expanding government bent on transforming the nation’s economy and how we live also is about controlling what you know and what is acceptable to believe, from Covid policies to climate change to issues of national security and more.
Accelerating the demise of gasoline vehicles with fatuous rhetoric and scientific-sounding planetary alarmism is a salient illustration that climate change policies are about government wielding “complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, [and] regimenting all industry [and] commerce.”
The dictionary defines that as “fascism.”
Peter Murphy is Senior Fellow at CFACT. He has researched and advocated for a variety of policy issues, including education reform and fiscal policy, both in the non-profit sector and in government in the administration of former New York Governor George Pataki. He previously wrote and edited The Chalkboard weblog for the NY Charter Schools Association, and has been published in numerous media outlets, including The Hill, New York Post, Washington Times and the Wall Street Journal. Twitter: @PeterMurphy26 Website: https://www.petermurphylgs.com/
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