California Dreamin’ – A choiceless nightmare that benefits China

California is back. This time, the state’s Air Resources Board issued a rule banning the sale of new gasoline or diesel cars in just 12 years. Motorists in Golden State would see their options limited to cars powered by electricity or hydrogen fuel cells.

California can only do so if President Joe Biden grants Sacramento a waiver of the Clean Air Act, allowing the state to impose even stricter mileage standards and auto emissions requirements than those imposed by the Federal Ministry of Transport.

This is a huge mistake. Not only do the new regulations prohibit reasonable choices in the country’s largest auto market, but it also makes us more dependent on China. And a similar requirement could come from a state near you. The New York Times reports that, if the California law goes into effect, another dozen states could adopt similar policies this year.

The state’s drive to ban the internal combustion engine is fueled by its concern about global warming. But that ignores the fact that even if they eliminated all carbon emissions nationwide – from all sources: industrial, transportation and agricultural – average global temperatures would drop, at most, by less than 0.2 degrees Celsius… by the end of this century.

Recklessness aside, government bureaucrats don’t have to tell you what car you can or can’t buy. While some people want and can afford electric vehicles, they simply won’t work for everyone. Despite recent improvements, they still lack the range and convenience of conventional vehicles. A test by AAA found that driving in 20 degree weather with the heater on reduces the range of an electric vehicle by around 40%.

And that’s when the vehicle is fully charged. But manufacturers recommend boosting to only 80% to 90% capacity (and not dropping below 20%) to combat battery degradation.

Given the limited range of electric vehicles and their need for frequent charging, road trips can be disastrous. Car and Driver notes that “unlike a gasoline-powered vehicle, an EV’s mileage increases significantly as speed increases…Unlike gasoline or diesel vehicles, which routinely beat their EPA ratings in our highway tests, only three of the 33 EVs we’ve run range tests to date have exceeded their EPA highway and combined numbers.

Range is particularly important because refueling an electric vehicle isn’t a five-minute stop at a ubiquitous gas station. At best, it takes 30 minutes to get a decent charge with a “don’t use it too often” boost. Non-overfeeding takes hours.

The Wall Street Journal’s Rachel Wolfe wrote about her four-day road trip in an electric vehicle. It took him three hours with a charger to get 30 miles of range. She concluded the article by talking about filling up her own car and inhaling at the gas station, remarking that “[f]umes has never smelled so good. At least she still has the choice of the car she wants, unlike future Californians.

Towing with an electric vehicle is even more hopeless. Car and Driver has tested the new Ford F-150 Lightning electric pickup. He could only travel 100 miles towing a trailer. MotorTrend couldn’t go that far.

California isn’t just stopping at light vehicles, either. Those transporting goods or people, mowing lawns or showing houses will be disproportionately affected. (California has also indicated that it wants to phase out gas-powered lawn equipment, sticking it more to landscapers.)

Others impacted by the removal of liquid fuels in favor of electricity? The more than 11 million people who work in jobs supported by America’s oil and gas industry and farmers who make the feedstock for biofuels. Without the vehicle fuels market, farm income would decline by $27 billion, according to a study by Ag Retailers of America.

Putting all of our eggs in the electric vehicle basket would also dramatically increase our reliance on China, the same country that builds three times as many coal-fired power plants as the rest of the world combined, according to the Center for Research on Energy and CleanAir.

While the United States was very recently a net exporter of oil and had the largest oil refining industry in the world, almost everything we need for electric vehicles comes through China. The International Energy Agency, which supports reducing emissions, noted that China refines 35% of nickel, 40% of copper, 50% to 70% of lithium and cobalt and 90% of rare earth elements. . Graphite is produced exclusively in China.

Do we really want to put all of our carrier eggs in a basket made in China?

Biden is expected to decline California’s waiver. If he doesn’t, more thoughtful congressional leaders should block the waiver through legislation, thereby preserving consumer choice for California motorists and preventing America from becoming even more dependent on Chinese products.

©2022 Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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