By Deroy Murdock
Regarding electric vehicles, President Joe Biden cannot simply use his bully pulpit to preach EVs’ virtues. Gift-wrapping them in lavish taxpayer-funded subsidies is not enough for Biden, either.
So, this dictator rules by fiat. Rather than ask Congress to enact a pro-EV law, Emperor Biden issued a decree on Wednesday, via the Environmental Protection Agency.
By 2030, 54% of new passenger vehicles must be electric. Just two years later, that mandate would grow by more than one-fifth, until 67% of new cars and light trucks are electric in 2032.
This edict bludgeons personal freedom, is terminally grandiose, and defies economic reality. It surely was crafted by leprechauns whom Biden just befriended in Ireland.
Most offensive, Biden’s directive tells American adults which vehicles to purchase. I respect a woman’s right to choose which car to buy. Biden disrespects that right and will make it tougher for women (and men) to exercise it.
Barking orders at grown Americans gives Biden and other Democrats something close to carnal satisfaction. For the 47% of Americans who recently told pollsters that they are “Not too likely/Not at all likely” to buy EVs, Biden’s command feels like taking a cold shower—alone.
Biden’s mandate is absurdly overambitious.
Last year, just 5.8% of new cars were EVs. So, Biden demands a 931% increase in EV sales in the next seven years. That’s a 133% annual hike through 2030. And he ordains 1,155.2% unit-sales growth in the next nine years, a 128.3% yearly boost between today and 2032.
The Alliance for Automotive Innovation said: “This requires a massive, 100-year change to the U.S. industrial base and the way Americans drive.”
Imposing such a wholesale economic overhaul this swiftly would rival Mao Zedong’s Great Leap Forward. That government program killed a mere 20 million Chinese citizens.
This timetable is unachievable, especially when Biden padlocks mining projects in Alaska, Nevada, and Minnesota, and additional sources of copper, cobalt, lithium, and other minerals indispensable to EV production.
Biden also killed former President Donald Trump’s reforms of the National Environmental Policy Act. Trump accelerated up-or-down decisions on permits for power plants and other major projects. Thanks to Biden, these applications—even “green” ones—once again will wallow for years in purgatory.
All of this will make it harder to build traditional power stations and Biden’s blessed windmills and solar farms.
Even if America manufactured all of these EVs, what would happen after they got plugged into an already strained electrical grid? Imagine a national overburdened power-strip inferno.
“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,” the U.S. Department of Energy stated last May 10.
“Between 2008 and 2021, according to C Three Group, the U.S. high-voltage transmission system grew by about 1,700 miles per year,” energy scholar Robert Bryce wrote Feb. 9 on Substack. At 1,700 miles of new high-voltage power-line construction per year, increasing today’s 240,000 miles of HV lines by 60%, or 144,000 miles, would take 84 years, or until 2107. That would miss Biden’s 2030 target by just 77 years. To build this new capacity by Biden’s 2030 deadline, productivity would have to rocket twelvefold.
What would this cost? Bryce calculates about $4 million per mile. So, these 144,000 miles would devour $576 billion or $82.3 billion annually between now and 2030.
That assumes that rural communities would welcome these new power lines.
Bryce cites several prospective power lines that are being studied to death or have been killed outright in Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and New Hampshire.
The TransWest Express initiative is supposed to convey wind power from Wyoming to Utah, Nevada, and California. Launched in 2005, TransWest might break ground this year and conclude construction in 2026. If so, 21 years will have passed between design and deployment.
Regarding this humongous transmission upgrade, Bryce predicts: “Such a massive expansion of the grid will not happen.”
Biden & Co. believe that solar and wind power will fuel all of this.
Solar and wind power might be the most peaceful, beautiful, love-inducing, anti-racist energy sources ever devised. Unfortunately, they are intermittent: That pesky sun sets nightly, and the wind sometimes stops. That’s when power generation collapses to zero.
Coal, oil, and natural gas might be the world’s most disgusting, evil, bigoted fonts of energy. However, they produce electricity 24/7/365—even at midnight and when the breeze slows to a whisper.
Biden will wound Americans if he successfully forces 67% of new cars to rely on unreliable power from sources that routinely crater and a grid already plagued with brownouts and blackouts.
“Power outages from severe weather have doubled over the past two decades across the United States,” the Department of Energy reported last May, “and the frequency and length of power failures reached their highest levels since reliability tracking began in 2013—with U.S. customers on average experiencing more than eight hours of outages in 2020.”
Indeed, just after California’s Democratic governor, Gavin Newsom, issued his own EV diktat last year, state officials told people to leave their automobiles unplugged as megawatts waned amid the summer swelter. An Aug. 31 Washington Examiner headline encapsulated this farce: “California won’t let you charge the electric car it wants to force you to buy.”
These EV rules parallel the Biden regime’s War on Appliances. These neo-Marxists want to scrap natural-gas stoves, heaters, air conditioners, and other devices. They want everything to be electric, even as demand outstrips supply.
So, will Biden’s proclamation at least curb so-called global warming?
According to a White House statement: “Through 2055, EPA projects that the proposed standards would avoid nearly 10 billion tons of CO2 emissions—equivalent to more than twice the annual U.S. CO2 emissions in 2022.” Thus, over the next 32 years, Biden’s scheme would cut U.S. CO2 by 312.5 million tons annually, totaling 10 billion tons at mid-century.
Too bad China produced 10.081 billion tons of CO2 in 2020 alone, the International Energy Agency reports. Hence, China’s yearly CO2 output would obliterate whatever “gains” Biden imagines over a 32-year period.
In other words: Unless Beijing revolutionizes its behavior, Biden’s 10-billion-ton CO2 reduction will vanish within a 320-billion-ton cloud of Red Chinese carbon.
Biden’s EV policy combines fascistic decrees, magic thinking, exorbitant costs, elusive benefits, and powerful acid. If the White House pumps enough LSD into the U.S. water supply, however, every American could enjoy Emperor Biden’s phantasmagorical vision.
Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor and a contributing editor with National Review Online.
Originally published by The Daily Signal. Republished with permission.