For those who are blissfully unaware, President Joe Biden signed an executive order recently. The objective is simple: we are supposed to be reducing emissions from gasoline engines by 50 percent in 2030. President Obama put similar fuel efficiency plans into place and President Trump came right after him to weaken them. According to the New York Times, this plan has two separate phases. By 2026, fleet efficiency standards are expected to have substantially raised.
The Times has more:
“The tailpipe emissions regulations enacted by the Obama administration in 2012 required that passenger vehicles sold by automakers achieve an average of roughly 51 miles per gallon by 2025. Mr. Trump loosened the standard in 2020 to about 44 miles per gallon by 2026.
Administration officials said the new Biden standard would be 52 miles per gallon by 2026, calling it “the most stringent federal greenhouse gas standards in U.S. history.”
Yeah, seems odd that Tesla wasn’t invited
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 5, 2021
All of that sounds pretty costly. Phase 2 is even more onerous. Wait until you get a load of this part of the plan:
“The Biden administration then plans another set of tougher emissions regulations for vehicles produced beyond 2026. It is those rules that Mr. Biden hopes will essentially propel automakers to phase out the internal combustion engine. Since that second set of rules could be technically complex and legally ambitious, administration officials decided to first quickly reinstate the Obama regulations to cut some emissions while federal staff members take on the challenge of crafting the future rule.”
The Times story is structured in a funny way. The first part showcases all of the grand plans that Biden seems to have but the second part is where things get more real. That’s where we learn that he’s got no real plans of carrying out any of them. The rules that are supposed to be in place as of 2026 haven’t even been made yet. At this point, it is hard to see any of them coming to fruition.
“Depending on how they write it, that second rule will either put us on a pathway toward widespread use of E.V.s by later this decade — or it won’t.” Alson added, “Forcing that kind of change will not be easy for federal agencies and politicians to do unless they have the support of the public and the automakers,” said former EPA engineer Jeff Alson to the Times.
— The Hill (@thehill) August 5, 2021
Believe it or not, the automakers are actually on board with these ideas at the moment. That’s because Biden is already promising them billions in bribes. Battery research and charging stations are not going to be cheap! Who wouldn’t want some free money now, in exchange for some promises that they may not even have to keep down the line. It’s a pretty sweet deal if we are being frank.
There are all sorts of holes that are not being considered. If the next president is a Republican, they may feel differently. The automakers probably won’t feel compelled to make too many moves until they see who is in office next. If it’s DeSantis or someone along those lines? We find it hard to believe that they are going to be forced to live up to some phony promise that they gave Sleepy Joe five years earlier.
The story concludes with some telling quotes from an environmental activist who is very skeptical. They do not trust the automakers to follow through:
“Today’s proposal relies on unenforceable voluntary commitments from unreliable carmakers to make up to 50 percent of their fleets electric by 2030,” said Dan Becker, director of the Safe Climate Transport Campaign at the Center for Biological Diversity.
“Voluntary pledges by auto companies make a New Year’s weight-loss resolution look like a legally binding contract,” he said…”
We’ll leave you with this funny anecdote. Elon Musk and Tesla were not invited to the White House’s EV event. The United Auto Workers Union will be there, though. The obvious connection was made and Psaki was asked about it. “Well, these are the three largest employers of the United Auto Workers, so I’ll let you draw your own conclusions,” she replied. Cute!