July 19, 2024

EDITORIAL: Forced electric cars harm our planet and humanity | Editorials

4 min read
EDITORIAL: Forced electric cars harm our planet and humanity | Editorials

California outlawed new gasoline cars last week beginning in 2035. This is the latest in the far-left’s war on minorities, the poor and the environment. Colorado likely will follow suit to further appease the easily fooled “environmental” professional class.

“California to Ban the Sale of New Gasoline Cars: The decision … will very likely speed a wider transition to electric vehicles because many other states follow California’s standards,” an Aug. 24 New York Times headline and subhead declared.

Colorado has ranked among the first to embrace California’s “zero-emission vehicle” (ZEV) standards. The state-marketed brand lies to the public, as battery cars cause greenhouse emissions.

California forces “ZEV” standards on much of the world because it makes up the largest car market in the United States and the world’s seventh-largest economy. As goes California, so goes the country.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis adopted California’s previous ZEV standards and signed a 2019 order to put 940,000 electric cars on the road by 2030. That compares with today’s highest estimate of 61,000 of nearly 250,000 new registered vehicles.

The state artificially pushes battery cars into the market by imposing mandates on auto dealers and paying tax incentives to buyers.

These alternative vehicles work among urban professionals with nearby services and short commutes, but not so well for rural and working-class consumers who travel long distances. Think of farmers who haul cattle and horses over rural terrain devoid of charging stations. Think of teachers and service workers with jobs in Boulder, Aspen, Cherry Creek or other communities they can’t afford to live in or nearby.

Think of West Virginia and Mississippi where median household incomes are $48,000 and $46,000 respectively — wages for an entire year that fall far below the cost of most battery cars. Think of Alamosa, with a majority nonwhite population and a median household income of $38,000 — compared with Cherry Hills Village with a $215,000 income and a population more than 96{5be0972a10a00bb621c1a18de1a801d58662e556d02921cebb422beac5e5b2fe} white.

We’re told Colorado leaders care so much about “people of color,” yet they push for policies that harm them demographically. These cars simply don’t meet the needs of low-income consumers, disproportionately made up of minorities, who cannot afford the average $66,000 cost.

Technology will improve these vehicles to increase ranges and reduce charging times and costs. As such, battery cars will become more appealing to the masses — even in low-income regions — but only after considerable time.

Meanwhile, contemplate a few inconvenient truths as governments mandate these cars with environmental deception.

Battery cars are anything other than “zero-emission” alternatives. Their batteries, which produce nothing, store electricity generated mostly by fossil fuels. This will change over generations, not by 2030 or 2035.

To understand the cost of converting conventional fuel to electricity, shut off a petroleum-fueled furnace and heat with electric space heaters. The cost will tell the truth.

The average age of registered cars in the United States hit 12.5 years in 2022 — mostly because moderate-to-low-income households can’t afford new cars.

Average car owners drive more than 12,000 miles each year. An electric car’s range decreases with each drive. The battery dies at about 60,000 miles. That puts the viability of each battery car at about five years before the need for substantial reinvestment of up to $15,000 for a replacement battery. Electric-car mandates will put used vehicles out of range for low-income buyers.

While this concern will diminish with innovation, government mandates supersede by decades the innovation needed by people of low and average means.

Battery car mandates should trouble fair-trade consumers with noble environmental and social justice concerns. The United Nations finds each battery car requires water-intensive cobalt and lithium mining, consuming up to 65{5be0972a10a00bb621c1a18de1a801d58662e556d02921cebb422beac5e5b2fe} of the water in African countries and other arid and impoverished regions.

Tens of thousands of child slaves work the environmentally hazardous open-pit mines required by battery cars. More than 60{5be0972a10a00bb621c1a18de1a801d58662e556d02921cebb422beac5e5b2fe} of each battery’s metals come from the Democratic Republic of the Congo — a country of human rights atrocities.

“Some 40,000 children have to work in these mines to collect this mineral (cobalt) instead of going to school, playing or simply experiencing childhood,” an article by the Geneva-based humanitarian organization Humanium explains.

“According to the International Labor Organization, ‘child labor unifies all the activities which deprive children of their childhood, potential and dignity, along with harming their schooling and physical and mental development (UNICEF).’”

Amnesty International reports young battery slaves work 12-hour days without protective equipment in deep underground mines. This should horrify Polis and Will Toor, his executive director of the Colorado Energy Office, and other socially conscious consumers.

As opposed to incentivizing child labor, the U.S. — with significant contributions from oil-rich Colorado — could produce enough petroleum to power all domestic vehicles. Unlike cobalt and lithium mining, we harvest petrol ingredients under rigorous environmental and safety regulations. Adult workers earn six figures under safe conditions.

Battery cars might well be the future. Premature, mandatory battery cars burden the environment, low-income domestic consumers and parched regions short of clean water. Far worse, they exploit child slaves.

With mandates guaranteeing sales, these pitfalls won’t change in time to avoid harming the least fortunate among us. Left to compete on merit — without lavish incentives and onerous mandates — consumers would demand lower prices along with higher standards of social justice and environmental care.

We should leave this transition to the organic, democratic market of producers, sellers and buyers who vote with their wallets billions of times each day.

The Gazette Editorial Board


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