by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
One of the problems of heedless rushes is, well, their heedlessness, and the current rush … to decarbonize the West (matters seem, for some mysterious reason, to be proceeding at a more leisurely pace elsewhere) is showing very little sign of having been properly thought through. Under the circumstances, an article in the Financial Times should not come as too much of a surprise, although the FT, a newspaper that can come close to promoting a camouflaged form of climate fundamentalism, deserves credit for publishing it.
The author, Ashley Nunes, turns from a discussion of the oil price to quoting Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s comment that families who buy electric vehicles (EVs) “never have to worry about gas prices again,” a comment that Nunes regards with just a little bit of suspicion:
“The Secretary isn’t wrong to tout EVs’ savings advantage. But his laser sharp focus on one type of saving should also be called out for what it truly is: a fiscal shell game that conveniently embraces one set of truths, while downplaying others.”
And in this case, “others” refers to costs that Buttigieg did not mention. To start with, EVs don’t come cheap when compared to traditional cars. …
… But, perhaps the most serious problem is this:
“No matter where you live in America, topping off your tank is easy. From coast to coast there are some 150,000 gas stations spread far and wide. Electric charging stations — needed to top off EVs — not so much.” …
… Betting against human ingenuity is unwise, but the driveway deficit is an EV problem that may be both more pressing and more intractable than most (and imagine how it will be in more densely-populated Europe). Some greens, of course, will see this as a feature, not a bug. Public transit! Bike Paths! Walking!