Progressives' mandates and subsidies to reduce emissions have run into reality.
Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom recently banned the sale of gas-powered vehicles in California starting in 2035, then asked Californians to avoid charging electric vehicles due to grid reliability problems. It's both funny and tragic.
Environmental justice warriors can't see how their policies hurt the people they claim to help. Their rush to 100% renewable energy has left the state unable to deal with temperature changes, so they ask consumers to limit electricity use when "there is less solar energy available." This is between 4 and 9 p.m., when most families are having dinner.
California's trajectory is disastrous. Newsom's 2020 executive order banned gas-powered vehicles, so the state's electricity grid should prepare for the added capacity needed for 2035. Nope. It's not about effort, but ability.
Moving too quickly with aggressive climate goals without the technology will hurt more ordinary Californians than those who can afford workarounds. When rolling blackouts became common in California, the sale of diesel-powered backup generators increased, negating any environmental gain. Instead of evaluating whether its policies are working, California banned gas-powered portable generators.
Despite the state legislature's wishes, neighbouring states can sell gas generators to Californians. Only those who can't afford to buy a generator across state lines are affected. The California energy grid can't keep up with demand, so people will have to deal with power outages and go without air conditioning. Environmental justice is elitist and blind.
Is this absurd? This is America? The Biden administration has modelled its own actions after California's environmental policies. Instead of implementing realistic policies, the Biden administration tells you to buy an electric vehicle, even though the cheapest one in the US costs around $30,000.
Mineral requirements for battery construction for electric vehicles and a renewable grid are a challenge for renewable energy. China dominates the global advanced battery supply chain, which is a national security concern. The Inflation Reduction Act, which doesn't reduce inflation, requires electric vehicles to use 40% of U.S. or free trade partner minerals for rebate eligibility, but the Biden administration cancelled two long-standing mineral leases in Minnesota that contain the world's largest undeveloped cobalt and nickel deposits. Instead of mining here, where U.S. techniques and environmental controls produce safer and more environmentally sound materials, we must rely on Chinese mines that use forced labour.
It's all illogical. People need cheap, clean, reliable energy. People suffer as Biden and his liberal allies race toward reality.
Former HUD secretary Ben Carson founded and chairs the American Cornerstone Institute.
The preceding is a summary of an article that originally appeared on Washington Examiner.