Democrat Governor Tim Walz is pushing a new “Clean Car MN” initiative, that will subsidize luxury vehicles at the expense of ordinary Minnesotans. This amounts to nothing more than a reckless handout to the urban rich, that will have absolutely no environmental impact.
With regulation from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, to take effect in 2020, Walz unilaterally moved to adopt California’s fuel-efficiency rules for Minnesota. The regulation would mandate that automakers sell a certain percent of electric vehicles as part of their overall vehicle sales, and mandate that the average fuel efficiency of all vehicles sold by a particular automaker meets a higher fuel-efficiency standard.
All this is part of a broader political battle.
The federal government has the power to set a uniform fuel-efficiency standard — national CAFE standards require automakers’ average vehicle sold to have a certain fuel efficiency.
But Minnesota and other states with liberal attorneys general—led by California—are challenging the Trump administration’s national reduction of federal fuel-efficiency regulations put in place by the Obama administration.
The Obama administration put in place impossible-to-meet CAFE standards, that would only take effect once Obama left office: Average miles per gallon of vehicles sold was to reach 54.5 by 2025.
The Trump administration revised this target down to a more-realistic 37 mpg by 2025, but California is pushing for a state target of 50 mpg by 2025.
What’s the point?
By seeking to operate outside of federal regulations, California—because of its size–is in effect trying to subsidize electric vehicles (or EVs), while requiring out-of-state voters to subsidize the costs.
Back on the home front, Walz’s new rules will hit Minnesotans. In general, they will lead automakers to charge more for gas-powered vehicles, and charge less for electric cars.
Only by making gas-powered cars cost more will automakers be able to meet Walz’s centrally-planned target.
And while Walz is making EVs cost less, it’s worth noting that the people buying EVs, like Teslas, are rich people. Despite government subsidies, which go to the rich, the average EV costs over $55,000, while the average car costs about $35,000.
That’s ridiculous, especially since EVs won’t make a dent in overall CO2 emissions. EVs aren’t that great for the environment, because of the materials used in their batteries, and because CO2 is often burned to generate the electricity that powers EVs.
And to the extent that EVs are cleaner than gas cars, because electricity generation is cleaner, that’s because of clean natural gas, a product of fracking — not renewables.
It should be noted that environmentalist Democrats like Liz Warren want to ban fracking, which has made America energy independent.
In other words, like too many proposals in the modern day Democratic Party, Walz’s plan has nothing to do with math, and everything to do with an act of faith and public sacrifice on the alter of environmentalism.
If that weren’t bad enough, that sacrifice will be paid by a tax on the poor and working class in Minnesota, who can’t afford a luxury electric car.
Meanwhile, Liberals in suburbs like Kenwood and Edina will drive around full of self-righteousness, as they “save the planet” in their $60,000 cars.
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