by Samantha Foster | 24News
Just days after Democrats passed a sweeping law that mandates “green energy” policies and spends a whopping $370 billion on wind, solar and “carbon sequestration” in an effort to “slow climate change,” America’s largest state is about to up the ante with a unprecedented move.
California on Thursday is expected to put into effect its sweeping plan to prohibit the sale of new gasoline-powered cars by 2035, a stunning move to force a national mandate for electric vehicles.
The move comes despite critics warning that the state’s power grid could not even power 10% of its cars being electric, let alone 100%.
And just months ago, California utilities operators had to beg residents to avoid charging electric cars amid power grid strain during a heat wave.
Liberals however, are ecstatic over the move:
“This is huge,” said Margo Oge, an electric vehicles expert who headed the Environmental Protection Agency’s transportation emissions program under Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama. “California will now be the only government in the world that mandates zero-emission vehicles. It is unique.”
NYTimes has more:
The rule, issued by the California Air Resources Board, will require that 100 percent of all new cars sold in the state by 2035 be free of the fossil fuel emissions chiefly responsible for warming the planet, up from 12 percent today. It sets interim targets requiring that 35 percent of new passenger vehicles sold in the state by 2026 produce zero emissions. That would climb to 68 percent by 2030.
The restrictions are important because not only is California the largest auto market in the United States, but more than a dozen other states typically follow California’s lead when setting their own auto emissions standards.
“The climate crisis is solvable if we focus on the big, bold steps necessary to stem the tide of carbon pollution,” Gavin Newsom, the governor of California, said in a statement.
California’s action comes on top of an expansive new climate law that President Biden signed last week. The law will invest $370 billion in spending and tax credits on clean energy programs, the largest action ever taken by the federal government to combat climate change. Enactment of that law is projected to help the United States cut its emissions 40 percent below 2005 levels by the end of this decade. Still, it will not be enough to eliminate U.S. emissions by 2050, the target that climate scientists say all major economies must reach if the world is to avert the most catastrophic and deadly impacts of climate change.
John Bozzella, president of the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, which represents large U.S. and foreign automakers, said California’s new electric vehicle sale mandates would be “extremely challenging” to meet. “Whether or not these requirements are realistic or achievable is directly linked to external factors like inflation, charging and fuel infrastructure, supply chains, labor, critical mineral availability and pricing, and the ongoing semiconductor shortage,” Mr. Bozzella said by email.
He said automakers wanted to see more electric vehicles on the roads, but called on the state and the federal government to do more to address issues such as the ability to mine critical minerals like lithium and cobalt in the United States, the affordability of electric vehicles and equitable access to fast charging.
Indeed, many critics have pointed out studies that show that electric vehicles are worse for the environment than gas-powered ones.
From The Federalist:
Besides quality issues, a study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that electric vehicles are worse for the environment than gas-powered ones. By quantifying the externalities (both greenhouse gases and local air pollution) generated by driving these vehicles, the government subsidies on the purchase of EVs, and taxes on electric and/or gasoline miles, researchers found that “electric vehicles generate a negative environmental benefit of about -0.5 cents per mile relative to comparable gasoline vehicles (-1.5 cents per mile for vehicles driven outside metropolitan areas).”
And electric vehicles are less reliable too:
According to J.D. Power, owners of electric or hybrid vehicles cite more problems than do owners of gas-powered vehicles. The latter vehicles average 175 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100), hybrids average 239 PP100, and battery-powered cars — excluding Tesla models — average 240 PP100. Tesla models average 226 PP100. Given the average cost of an electric car is roughly $60,000
And – defying expectations – electric car batteries create far more pollution as well:
most of today’s EVs are powered by lithium-ion batteries. Due to heavy government subsidies, China dominates the global production of lithium-ion batteries and their precursor materials, especially graphite. China’s graphite production has notoriously contributed to significant pollution in the country.
Pollution can come “from graphite dust in the air, which is damaging whether inhaled or brought down to the earth in the rain,” a Bloomberg report found. More pollution results from the hydrochloric acid used to process mined graphite into a usable form. Hydrochloric acid is highly corrosive and can cause great environmental damage if leaked into groundwater or streams. China’s Shandong province, which is responsible for 10 percent of global graphite supply, had to suspend some of its production capacity due to environmental damages. But the growing demand in the west for EVs means such suspensions will only be temporary.
A typical electric car needs 110 pounds of graphite, and a hybrid vehicle needs around 22 pounds. Ironically, the U.S. government’s EV subsidies end up subsidizing China’s highly polluted production. So if you think you are doing your part of saving the planet by driving an EV, think twice. We also know from past experiences that pollution in China ends up harming the rest of the world.
And of course, there is the minor detail that electric cars seems to burst into flames at an alarming rate – flames which fire departments cannot easily put out.
It took dozens of firefighters 18 hours to put the fire out.
But again, “environmentalists” will not be deterred by mere facts. And California is hardly alone.
The governments of Canada, Britain and at least nine other European countries — including France, Spain and Denmark — have set goals of phasing out the sale of new gasoline-powered vehicles between 2030 and 2040. But none have concrete mandates or regulations like the California rule.
“This regulation will set the global high-water mark for the accelerated transition to electric vehicles,” said Drew Kodjak, executive director of the International Council on Clean Transportation, a research organization.
In Washington, President Biden last year signed an executive order calling for the government to try to ensure that half of all vehicles sold in the United States be electric by 2030, up from 6 percent today, although the order has no binding legal force.
Mr. Biden has also sought to enact federal policies that would further scale up the nation’s use of electric vehicles. The new climate spending bill includes $14 billion in tax incentives for buyers of new and used electric cars. Last year, the Environmental Protection Agency restored and slightly strengthened an Obama-era fuel economy rule that had been set aside by the Trump administration. It requires passenger vehicles to get 55 miles per gallon by 2026, from just under 40 miles per gallon today.
But there is already fierce legal pushback against those plans.
The attorneys general of 17 Republican-led states have sued to revoke the California waiver, which would undo the new policy. The lawsuit, which will be heard before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, considered the nation’s second most powerful bench after the Supreme Court. Oral arguments have not yet been scheduled.