September 23, 2019

Beware of Costly, 'Green' Trojan Horses

Dana Mathewson

This article might alternatively be titled "There Ain't No Such Thing As a Free Lunch:" an idea that you'd get the impression the current crop of leftists running for the position of Democrat presidential candidate seem to be totally unaware of.

In this article the particular subject is electric automobiles, whether fully battery powered or hybrid. Leftists (and liberals) totally ignore the fact that the batteries are an environmental trainwreck.

Some 3,000 years ago in Anatolia, the Greeks laying siege to Troy had a brilliant idea: sneak some men into the city through a wooden horse masked as a gift and then the gates could be opened for the rest of the army. The Trojan Horse may have been a genius military maneuver, but it shouldn’t translate to expensive and unnecessary public policy.

Democrats will have to learn this the hard way as they attempt to sneak their disastrous "Green New Deal” proposal through Congress bit by bit through other, vital pieces of legislation. In particular, rumors abound that lawmakers will try to resurrect and expand the Electric Vehicle (EV) tax credit via must-pass bills circulating through Congress. For the sake of consumers and taxpayers across America, members of Congress should stop trying to sneak costly Trojan Horses into unrelated legislation. Americans deserve a transparent lawmaking process that produces policies to the benefit of all.

To radical members of Congress tirelessly championing a Green New Deal, trillions of dollars in new spending and costly "renewable” mandates aren’t enough. The EV credit, which has promised buyers an up-to-$7,500 reprieve off their tax bills for nearly a decade, is quickly being phased out. Carmakers are only allowed to benefit from this misguided policy for their first 200,000 EVs sold, and top producers such as GM and Tesla sped past the limit in 2018. A vocal minority of pro-EV (at any cost) lawmakers are pushing to keep the tax credit and expand it beyond the 200,000-car limit.

There’s just one problem: these lawmakers never stopped to consider the redistributive consequences of their preferred policy. In 2018, Dr. Wayne Winegarden of the Pacific Research Institute calculated that nearly 80 percent of EV tax credit beneficiaries are from households raking in six-figures. The finding is unsurprising, jiving with many economists and policymakers’ suspicion that the tax credit has merely benefited wealthier-than-average Americans who would’ve purchased these fashionable cars anyway.

Yep. You and I are subsidizing them even if we aren't buying them, which is another negative. And those who are buying them don't generally need our help.

Meanwhile, the average American household pays dearly for these stealth EV subsidies. A 2018 study by NERA Economic Consulting found that U.S. households on the whole would stand to lose nearly $100 billion over the next 15 years if the credit was expanded and the cap lifted. That works out to more than $700 in increased costs per household, a high cost to pay for a projected 1 percent decline in gasoline demand.

Carbon emissions would barely budge, and a turbocharged EV tax credit would actually wreak havoc on the environment (and labor rights). The World Economic Forum notes, "raw materials needed for batteries are extracted at a high human and environmental toll. This includes, for example, child labour, health and safety hazards in informal work, poverty and pollution. Second, a recycling challenge looms over the eleven million tonnes of spent lithium-ion batteries forecast to be discarded by 2030, with few systems in place to enable reuse and recycling in a circular economy for batteries.”

Plenty of the inputs needed for electric batteries come from beleaguered, battle-torn countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, where mineral extraction work makes Middle Eastern oil drilling look like a walk in the park. Having investigated these Congolese mines, the Washington Post reports, "[M]ining activity exposes local communities to levels of toxic metals that appear to be linked to ailments that include breathing problems and birth defects, health officials say.” And, according to Reuters, "Demand for electric vehicles is fueling a rise in child labor in cobalt mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo.”

There's more here: and I really urge you to read it, even if you're not contemplating buying what a friend of mine calls a "coal-powered" car.


Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 11:54 AM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
Post contains 718 words, total size 7 kb.

1 The Green New Deal contains the following goals, quoted here specifically:

1…to create millions of good, high-wage jobs and ensure prosperity and economic security for all people of the United States;

2…to invest in the infrastructure and industry of the United States to sustainably meet the challenges of the 21st century;

3…to promote justice and equity by stopping current, preventing future, and repairing historic oppression of indigenous peoples, communities of color, migrant communities, deindustrialized communities, depopulated ruralcommunities, the poor, low-income workers, women, the elderly, the unhoused, people with disabilities, and youth by guaranteeing universal access to clean water;

4…providing and leveraging, in a way that ensures that the public receives appropriate ownership stakes and returns on investment,
adequate capital (including through community grants, public banks, and other public financing), technical expertise, supporting policies, and other forms of assistance to communities, organizations, Federal, State, and local government agencies, and businesses working on the Green New Deal mobilization

5…guaranteeing a job with a family-sustaining wage, adequate family and medical leave, paid vacations, and retirement security to all people of the United States

6...strengthening and protecting the right of all workers to organize, unionize, and collectively bargain free of coercion, intimidation, and

7…strengthening and enforcing labor, workplace health and safety, antidiscrimination, and wage and hour standards across all employ23
ers, industries, and sectors

8…to grow domestic manufacturing in the United States;

9…ensuring a commercial environment where every businessperson is free from unfair competition and domination by domestic or international monopolies;

10…providing all people of the United States with (i) high-quality health care; (ii) affordable, safe, and adequate housing; (iii) economic security; and (iv) clean water, clean air, healthy and affordable food, and access to nature

What does any of those thing have to do with a changing climate, or with the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere? Talk about a "Trojan Horse" !!!

Posted by: Bill H at September 24, 2019 08:54 AM (vMiSr)

2 Great job, Bill!  Reposting this as a stand-along post!

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at September 24, 2019 09:39 AM (xF38i)

3 I am really glad that I read the content here, it is quite informative actually. Though I was searching for Alberta horses and came across this article about Trojan horses. I have been always interested to know all about horses.

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