California banned new gas-powered cars last week starting in 2035. This is the far left’s latest war on minorities, the poor and the environment. Colorado will likely follow suit to further appease the easily duped “environmental” professional class.
“California to Ban Sales of New Gas-Powered Cars: The decision…will most likely accelerate a broader transition to electric vehicles as many other states follow California standards,” read a headline and caption from the New York Times August 24.
Colorado was among the first to adopt California’s “Zero Emission Vehicle” (ZEV) standards. The state-marketed brand is lying to the public because battery-powered cars cause greenhouse gas emissions.
California imposes “ZEV” standards on much of the world, as it is the largest automotive market in the United States and the seventh largest economy in the world. As California goes, so goes the country.
Colorado Governor 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 to the highest estimate in today 61,000 out of nearly 250,000 new vehicles registered.
The state artificially pushes battery-powered cars into the market by imposing mandates on car dealers and paying tax incentives to buyers.
These alternative vehicles work among urban professionals with nearby services and short journeys, but less well for rural and working-class consumers who travel long distances. Think of farmers hauling cattle and horses across rural land without 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 near.
Think of West Virginia and Mississippi where median household incomes are $48,000 and $46,000, respectively — full-year wages well below the cost of most battery-powered cars. Think Alamosa, with a majority non-white population and a median household income of $38,000 — compared to Cherry Hills Village with an income of $215,000 and over 96% white population.
We’re told leaders in Colorado care so much about “people of color,” yet they’re pushing for policies that hurt them demographically. These cars simply don’t meet the needs of low-income consumers, who are disproportionately made up of minorities, who cannot afford the average cost of $66,000.
Technology will improve these vehicles to increase range and reduce charging times and costs. As such, battery-powered cars will become more appealing to the masses – even in low-income regions – but only after considerable time.
Meanwhile, consider some inconvenient truths as governments impose environmental deception on these cars.
Battery cars are something quite different from “zero emission” alternatives. Their batteries, which produce nothing, store electricity produced mainly by fossil fuels. This will change over generations, not by 2030 or 2035.
To understand the cost of converting conventional fuel to electricity, turn off a kerosene furnace and heat with electric heaters. The cost will tell the truth.
The average age of registered cars in the United States has reached 12.5 years in 2022, mainly because middle to low income households cannot afford new cars.
Car owners average over 12,000 miles every year. The range of an electric car decreases with each trip. The battery dies at around 60,000 miles. This puts the viability of each battery-powered car at around five years before the need for a substantial reinvestment of up to $15,000 for a replacement battery. Electric car mandates will put used vehicles out of reach for low-income buyers.
While this concern diminishes with innovation, government mandates replace decades of innovation needed by people of low and middle means.
Battery car mandates should confuse fair trade consumers with lofty environmental and social justice concerns. The United Nations finds that every battery-powered car requires intensive mining of cobalt and lithium, consuming up to 65% of water in African countries and other arid and poor regions.
Tens of thousands of child slaves work in the environmentally dangerous surface mines required by battery-powered cars. More than 60% of the metals in each battery come from the Democratic Republic of Congo, a country of human rights atrocities.
“Some 40,000 children have to work in these mines to harvest this mineral (cobalt) instead of going to school, playing or simply living childhood,” explains an article by the Geneva-based humanitarian organization Humanium. .
“According to the International Labor Organization, ‘child labor includes all activities that deprive children of their childhood, their potential and their dignity, while harming their schooling and their physical and mental development (UNICEF) .'”
Amnesty International reports that young battery slaves work 12 hours a day without protective gear in deep underground mines. That should horrify Polis and Will Toor, his executive director at the Colorado Energy Office, and other socially conscious consumers.
Instead of encouraging child labor, the United States – with significant contributions from oil-rich Colorado – could produce enough oil to power all domestic vehicles. Unlike cobalt and lithium mining, we harvest petroleum ingredients in accordance with stringent environmental and safety regulations. Adult workers earn six figures under safe conditions.
Battery cars may well be the future. Premature and compulsory battery-powered cars are burdening the environment, low-income domestic consumers and parched regions that lack potable water. Much worse, they exploit child slaves.
With mandates guaranteeing sales, these pitfalls will not change in time to harm the less fortunate among us. Left to compete on merit – without lavish incentives or onerous mandates – consumers would demand lower prices as well as higher standards of social justice and environmental protection.
We should leave this transition to the organic, democratic market of producers, sellers and buyers who vote with their wallets billions of times every day.
REPRINTED FROM THE COLORADO SPRINGS GAZETTE
Photo credit: HookyungLee on Pixabay