The left’s electric vehicle push is about freedom

Opinion by Katie Pavlich

Since last week, the California electric grid operator has been sending out frantic messages warning residents to avoid using electricity, or charging their electric vehicles, as the system becomes overloaded due to continuing heat. 

“#ISO has issued an Energy Emergency Alert (EEA) 1 effective today, from 4 p.m. – 9 p.m. Consumers are strongly urged to use less #energy to avoid rotating #poweroutages,” the California ISO tweeted out Tuesday. 

The timing was impeccable.

Just days before the crisis started, which is expected to continue in the coming weeks, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced a ban on all gas-powered vehicles by 2035. 

“We can solve this climate crisis if we focus on the big, bold steps necessary to cut pollution. California now has a groundbreaking, world-leading plan to achieve 100 percent zero-emission vehicle sales by 2035,” Newsom declared in a statement. “This plan’s yearly targets — 35 percent ZEV sales by 2026, 68 percent by 2030, and 100 percent by 2035 — provide our road map to reducing dangerous carbon emissions and moving away from fossil fuels.”

A number of Democratic-controlled states are expected to follow Newsom’s lead. 

U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm applauded the move, telling Fox 11 Los Angeles she thought it “could be” used as a national model for the rest of the country.  

“Yeah, I do. I think California really is leaning in,” Granholm said about the idea. “And of course, the federal government has a goal of — the president has announced — by 2030 that half of the vehicles in the U.S., the new ones sold would be electric.”

The left’s current push for a rapid transition from gas-powered cars to electric vehicles is being done under the guise of fighting climate change and cleaning up the environment. This is a nice idea, but it’s far from the truth when it comes to how electric vehicles are made and the toll they take on the environment, starting in production and ending with battery waste.

For example, the production of electric vehicles causes more “dangerous” carbon emissions, which Democrats like Newsom claim they will eliminate. 

“Compared with traditional internal combustion engine, or ICE, vehicles, greenhouse gases released while manufacturing battery-electric cars account for a higher portion of life-cycle emissions. As the EV hype gains momentum, battery production and research is powering ahead and sales are growing. That means material emissions are going to rise to more than 60 percent by 2040 from 18 percent today, according to consultancy firm McKinsey & Co.,” Bloomberg reports

And what happens when the batteries, made with slave labor through strip mining in China and Africa, go bad? Where do they go? 

“Breaking up is hard to do, and in few places is that more true than breaking up and reclaiming the materials in an EV battery. These are big, heavy, complex arrays of materials and packaging that don’t recycle like a water bottle,” CNET explained last year. “The lithium, nickel, cobalt and other elements inside an EV battery present a toxic challenge that recycling attacks by keeping batteries from ever being truly discarded.”

Strip Mining for rare earth metals

Using the standard of carbon emissions, electric vehicles aren’t necessarily cleaner or greener than traditional vehicles. Technology will evolve to tackle the issue, but should be done through the private sector on a logical timeline, not through government force or mandates to ban gas vehicles they falsely claim are worse for the environment. A number of start-up companies are already looking into ways to recycle batteries and manufacture more efficiently. They’re also using fossil fuels to get them there. 

“Realistically I think we need to use oil and gas in the short term, because otherwise civilization will crumble,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk, leader of the world’s largest and most successful electric vehicle company, recently told a conference. “One of the biggest challenges the world has ever faced is the transition to sustainable energy and to a sustainable economy. That will take some decades to complete.”

Electric vehicles don’t exist without fossil fuels and neither does a functioning, modern world. This reality is running right into decrees to ban fuels that work to keep society functioning. How will people get to work if they can’t charge their electric vehicles in places like California? 

The current and rapid push for electric vehicles isn’t about saving or cleaning up the environment for future generations, it’s about controlling how people travel and their freedom of movement. Total reliance on the grid with electric vehicles ensures government bureaucrats, coming off of their power highs from the COVID-19 pandemic, will have total control over how much people travel, when they travel, how far they can go and when they can work. Saving the environment, a noble idea, is just an excuse. 

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