Seventeen states – including Virginia – tie their vehicle emission standards and electric vehicle sale mandates to California, the most climate-centric state in the Union.
Unless current laws change, by 2035 all their new cars, pickups, and SUVs must be electric (or hydrogen-powered).
In further obeisance to California, most of these 17 states also require that their utility companies generate 100% of their electricity from “renewable sources” by 2045 or 2050. [emphasis, links added]
They and the federal government are also mandating that electric models replace gas-fueled furnaces, water heaters, driers, stoves, and ovens within a decade or less.
This means electricity demand will double very soon – at the same time that reliable, affordable fossil-fuel (and nuclear and hydroelectric) electricity generation plummets. Charging massive batteries to ensure power on windless, sunless days would double demand again.
Home, hospital, school, and business lighting, heating, cooling, cooking, and computing costs will likely double or triple, hitting poor and minority families hardest. Blackouts will become commonplace.
And yet Democrats in Virginia and elsewhere have refused to budge. They’re so convinced that climate cataclysms are imminent – and government mandates will magically usher in a renewable energy era – that they are willing to compel families and businesses to follow them and other virtue-signaling lemmings off the net-zero cliff.
That’s why – even with attention now focused on Israel, Ukraine, Taiwan, and other global hot spots – voters also need to think long and hard about looming US energy cataclysms.
Democrats, some Republicans, and their media and environmentalist allies are determined to sweep vitally important energy realities under the rug. Voters mustn’t that happen.
First and foremost, not one village on Earth – much less a city or state – has shown that wind and solar power backed up by grid-scale batteries can enable them to function normally … or merely survive … for even a week, winter or summer.
And yet President Biden and many others want to impose a “green energy transformation” on the entire United States.
Such a transformation would require millions of wind turbines, billions of solar panels, and tens of thousands of miles of new transmission lines.
Billions of Tesla’s EV-equivalent battery modules would be needed to stabilize increasingly large and complex electricity grids … and back up sporadic, weather-dependent electricity … to prevent widespread blackouts.
Building this equipment would involve billions of tons of steel, aluminum, copper, cobalt, lithium, concrete, plastics, and other materials; hundreds of billions of tons of ore, and overburden from thousands of mines; fossil fuels for mining, processing, and manufacturing; and unprecedented greenhouse gas emissions, toxic air, water and ground pollution, and wildlife habitat destruction.
Installing all that equipment would impact thousands of square miles of habitats, scenic areas, and croplands – decimating wildlife all across rural America – to serve major urban areas that have the votes to impose their views, but not the room or desire to have those impacts in their backyards.
Disposing of worn-out and broken solar panels and wind turbine blades would require hundreds of huge landfills, also in rural America’s backyards.
Net Zero Reality Coalition experts have calculated that grid balancing and backup batteries alone would cost up to $290 trillion, depending on which capital cost, hourly or daily electricity-generation data and other factors are employed.
The wind industry loves to say such-and-such wind or solar project has the “capacity” to power 100,000 homes. That may be true – when the wind is blowing or the sun is shining at optimal levels.
However, that rarely happens. On an annual basis, those unreliable systems would likely generate electricity 20-40% of the year, in short intervals, at totally unpredictable times.
Since the Biden Administration and environmentalists steadfastly oppose mining in the USA, most resource extraction will be done overseas.
The raw materials will mostly come from or through China, which often employs slave and child labor, zero to minimal environmental standards, subpar wage and workplace safety standards, and minerals as a political weapon.
That means wind, solar, and battery power is the antithesis of clean, green, renewable, sustainable, and ethical.
All the dirty, evil, unsustainable activities just take place in faraway places, where they can be ignored, where they needn’t be factored into slick product and campaign ads.
An all-electric economy also requires that home, neighborhood, local, state, and national transmission systems be significantly upgraded to handle the massive additional electric loads.
Personal needs and choices will disappear. You will be told what cars you can buy and how far you can drive them; how big your home can be, and how warm or cool you can keep it; how often and how far you can travel on vacation; even what foods you can eat.
Where’s the beef? Not on the menu. And just imagine being in your EV, in a massive traffic jam, during a blizzard or hurricane evacuation. But as California goes, so will you. Your legislators demand it.
Delving into specifics: Biden wants 30,000 megawatts of offshore wind electricity by 2030. That would require 2,500 gigantic 12-MW wind turbines.
But even if the wind is blowing optimally, their output would barely meet New York State’s peak summertime electricity needs.
Equally crazy, New York’s plan for 24,000 megawatt-hours of battery storage would provide backup for barely 45 minutes on a sweltering windless day. And even that minuscule storage would require 300,000 Tesla 80-kilowatt-hour battery modules.
The 2020 Virginia Clean Economy Act requires that utilities have 3,100 megawatt-hours of electricity storage.
If those are to be 19-MWh Tesla Megapack battery modules, costing $10 million apiece, Virginia taxpayers and ratepayers would have to lay out $1.6 billion. For that, they’d get a one-half-hour statewide windless/sunless day backup!
Ask your elected officials how many offshore turbines would be needed to power your state – or the entire USA.
How many onshore turbines with a nameplate capacity of perhaps six MW? How many solar panels sprawl across vast scenic areas, croplands, and wildlife habitats – in sunny Arizona or frosty Wisconsin? How many battery modules are needed for a full week of backup storage?
Demand to know costs – and how much mining, processing, manufacturing, toxic pollution, carbon dioxide emissions, child labor, and habitat destruction would go into making all that equipment.
Watch them bob and weave, run for cover, or have the police remove you for asking such impertinent questions.
Mandates for electric vehicles, wind and solar power, and a magical transition to a fossil-fuel-free energy utopia are critical issues this year and in 2024. Ponder them carefully before you head to the polls.
Your vote – and whether you encourage your friends to vote – will determine whether we end this insanity or must live with the iron fists of increasingly oppressive climate authoritarians.
Paul Driessen is a senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org) and author of books and articles on energy, environment, climate, and human rights issues.
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