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Progressive EV Mandates and Economic Reality

Chiseling away at America’s economy (and rule of law).

by | Apr 6, 2024 | Articles, Good Reads, Opinion, Politics

President Joe Biden advertised himself as a uniter of Americans but instead seems to have embarked on a crusade to unite government with industry. His disregard for the rule of law parallels an equally dangerous abandonment of fundamental free market principles via government fiat. The latest example is displayed in the administration’s emissions mandates for EV cars and trucks.

EV Fiasco

Biden’s newly proposed EV regulations are just one more straw on the camel’s back of economic reality. Electric vehicles resemble the Biden administration more and more: They do not deliver as advertised, cannot compete without being propped up, take money from the poor to give to the rich, divide the nation, and are used to sabotage the economy. If this sounds extreme, please read on.

The EPA’s long-awaited tailpipe emissions standards are a bureaucrat’s dream and a nightmare for taxpayers and car manufacturers. The 1,184-page rule does not mandate the manufacture of EV cars and trucks; it merely makes compliance with its strictures impossible without doing so.

Like Captain Ahab, Biden doesn’t care if every sailor (or auto worker) is forced to jump ship in his pursuit of the Great White Climate Utopia. Auto emission laws have historically set targets for individual vehicles, leaving manufacturers free to allocate resources to produce models desired by free consumers. The new EPA rules instead set limits on manufacturers’ total fleet emissions, essentially commanding Ford and Chevrolet to produce vehicles that meet stringent diktats, regardless of consumer demand, corporate profitability, or union job security.

Ford Motor Company has cut back plans to ramp up EV production after losing an estimated $64,731 per vehicle in 2023, despite massive state and federal subsidies. Losses would be far greater if not for profitable gas-powered vehicle sales. It seems taxpayers are not being price-gouged by corporations so much as by a government enacting state control of entire industries by regulatory fiat. Dictating what car dealers may offer as inventory may not jibe with consumer desires, and there is no indemnification clause by the EPA to purchase unsold goods.

EV trucks are a particularly bad sell for consumers concerned about range anxiety, failure to function in cold weather, lack of adequate charging stations, and staggering repair bills. Commercial buyers are uninterested in fleets of EV trucks that necessitate work crews taking multiple trips to transport a load that a single gas-powered pickup could handle. Ford is reportedly already cutting back its workforce in Dearborn, MI, due to declining sales of its Lightning EV, powered by dual “in-board” electric motors.

Unconstitutional Overreach

State-owned and state-run entities have a bad track record. The latest EV rules are just one more layer of regulatory “taking” of profits (and restrictions on capital allocation) implemented using dubious if not blatantly unconstitutional Biden edicts.

Biden used the Centers for Disease Control to impose a national moratorium on the eviction of renters, though he later recognized that any new order to extend it would be unconstitutional. The Supreme Court struck down his effort to mandate vaccines and testing for employees of large businesses. A federal district judge found that Biden’s race-based policies through the Minority Business Development Agency “flagrantly violated” the Equal Protection Clause. His student loan “forgiveness plan” was held to have abridged Congress’ legislative authority and was “an unconstitutional exercise of Congress’s legislative power and must be vacated.”

A US District Judge ruled that the $1.7 million Inflation Reduction Act was unconstitutionally enacted without the required congressional quorum; another ruled that Biden’s use of the Federal Highway Administration to set climate targets for vehicles “lacked a statutory basis and was invalid.” EPA rules impacting farmers, SEC rules burdening businesses with environmental reporting, and the allegedly illegal cancellation of Alaskan oil leases have all attracted similar criticisms. So much for supporting the rule of law.

Economics Matter

Times have changed under Biden. Social justice “theories” have eclipsed business management with fantasy policies of “universal equity” that threaten universal downfall. Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez burdened that once-prosperous nation with massive social spending “to finance educational, health, food, and housing programs,” which, along with economic mismanagement and corruption, sparked hyperinflation. Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe crippled a well-diversified economy with galloping inflation and bankruptcy through mismanaged state-owned enterprises and debt incurred for education and social services.

The president’s recent EPA rules for tailpipe emissions constitute yet more “preferential access to public procurement and government guidance of investment” through regulatory overreach. Dreams are nice, but somebody has to pay the bills. Rights are dandy, but someone has to take responsibility. The Biden administration chisels away at constitutional safeguards like Woody Woodpecker, imposing impossible dreams on businesses and taxpayers, leaving an economic, environmental, and constitutional disaster zone that America’s grandchildren will be repairing long after Biden has left office.

Read More From John Klar

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