AMAC Exclusive – By Shane Harris
On Thursday, California regulators voted to require all new cars and trucks sold in the state to run on electricity or hydrogen after 2035. In addition to posing serious problems for California’s already strained power grid, the decision threatens to collapse the state’s economy, and possibly the rest of the country as well.
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) said the new rule, released two years after Governor Gavin Newsom first directed such a policy to be considered, has raised major concerns among economists and engineers. Regardless, it was hailed as a major victory for environmental activists. According to the policy, his 35% of new passenger cars sold by 2026 must produce “zero emissions” and this requirement rises to 68% by his 2030. (an electric vehicle that switches to a petrol engine for longer distances), but the rest must be powered exclusively by electricity or hydrogen.
California leads the country with over 550,000 registered EVs, but that number still pales in comparison to the state’s over 30 million registered vehicles. In the first three months of this year, just 16% of new cars sold in California were electric. To comply with this plan, he would need to more than double this percentage in just four years.
But conservatives and auto industry leaders are quick to point out that EVs are not the “green” and “zero-emissions” solution claimed by California Democrats and other liberal establishments. I’m here. The vehicle itself is zero-emission, but must be recharged using electricity from a power plant. Even in California, 65% of its electricity is produced using non-renewable sources. More electric vehicles means more coal, oil and natural gas burning in these power plants. Additionally, EV batteries that last about 15 years mostly end up in landfills, releasing dangerous toxins into the environment (serious environmental problems associated with mining lithium and cobalt to make EV batteries). and human rights issues). .
There is also a big question as to whether California’s energy grid will be able to handle the increased demand brought about by a significant, short-term increase in the number of EVs on the road. According to one University of Texas analysis, if all cars in California went electric, the state would have to produce 47% more electricity than he does now. For Californians already facing rolling blackouts thanks to the state’s overreliance on renewable energy, this is probably not welcome news.
Banning gasoline cars in California could have ripple effects across the U.S. economy. Many other Democratic-led states, such as New York and Oregon, for example, have shown to follow California’s lead, putting automakers in a difficult position. Even Virginia has passed laws to force it to follow California regulations. California alone accounts for his 10% of the total US car market. This means that California law can and did determine the direction of the market across the country. Therefore, the problems this decision poses to California may be exported to other states, whether they agree with that policy or not.
With fewer gas cars on the roads, many gas stations are more likely to go out of business, making it harder for people with gas cars to get around. Not only would it be a serious burden, but it would also discourage tourism from other states, an industry that contributes more than $100 billion annually to California’s economy.
At the same time that the policy applies to passenger cars, a possibly even more devastating set of laws and regulations will be put into effect to “phase out” medium and heavy duty gas and diesel powered trucks. On January 1, 2023, approximately 76,000 trucks with engines built before 2010 will no longer be allowed to operate under another set of his CARB regulations. By 2040, all new medium and heavy trucks sold in the state must also be fully electric. This will undoubtedly result in huge costs for shipping companies, which will be passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices.
The new truck regulations are particularly bad news for California’s important agricultural sector. California is the nation’s most productive agricultural state, accounting for more than 13% of U.S. agricultural production value (about $25 billion annually). The state leads the nation in the production of 77 of her crops and livestock, accounting for more than 99% of his U.S. production of 14 specialty commodities, including almonds, olives and raisins.
All of these products must be shipped to other parts of the country. According to USDA data, 95% of the time it means a diesel-powered semi truck. Even if farms and ranches could afford expensive new electric trucks, and California installed thousands of new electric vehicle charging stations specifically for electric trucks, it would be powerless to force other states to do so. . We drove the truck in California and switched to diesel powered trucks for the rest of the itinerary. This increased costs and slowed down shipments. As a result, the lives and livelihoods of his nearly one million Californians who work in the agricultural sector are likely to be threatened, while the rest of the country expects to pay significantly more for their produce. I can.
In particular, all of these new rules must be approved by the Biden administration under the provisions of the Clean Air Act of 1970. Environmental Protection Agency officials are expected to do so without delay, but they may want to reconsider.
Shane Harris is a writer and political consultant from Southwest Ohio. You can follow him on Twitter @Shane_Harris_.
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