Op-Ed: Forcing Electric Vehicles on Americans Won't Keep the Lights On


Let’s say we could fix each of the inherently prohibitive challenges of electric vehicles.

For instance, we could discover replacements for graphite, nickel, aluminum, cobalt, lithium, manganese and other rare minerals necessary for powering EV batteries.

These minerals are mined principally in China and in some African countries (that China owns or will soon possess). China controls 70 percent of the rare-earth mineral market. Bloomberg correctly called this situation a Chinese “chokehold” on the world.

But let’s lay aside facts for fantasy for just a bit. Let’s say we could mine those minerals in the U.S. or the Western Hemisphere. If that were so, we would still need to dream some more.

Let’s say the charging technology could advance — and quickly, and without known and unknown consequences colliding head-on with the economic fragility of the poorest and most vulnerable among us — so that EVs could be charged in less time, with longer battery life, and with charging stations available throughout the U.S.

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Since we are dreaming, let us also pretend that this will not put a strain on the electrical grid, which is itself powered by coal, natural gas, petroleum liquids and petroleum coke. These resources are available in abundance in North America.

The U.S. does not have one big grid. We have three: the Eastern Interconnection, the Western Interconnection and the Texas grid (how Texas got its grid is a historical tale that reaches back to 1907).

However, since our grids are subject to disruption during significant weather events, and since we know that smaller EU nations like the Netherlands are already demonstrating the limits of over-burdened power grids due to electrification mandates, we can expect no different.

A leading Dutch newspaper was forced to admit the crisis created by the government-mandated EV movement: “By 2025, there will be some 3,000 neighborhoods in the Netherlands where no new electric car charging points can be installed. … The growing demand for electric vehicles and accompanying charging stations is quickly overloading the power grid.”

However, I repeat, we are dreaming. “What if.” So let’s say each of the arguments against discarding a vibrant, self-reliant energy matrix replete with existing infrastructure, and a superabundance of natural resources, is wrong. Let’s suppose that risking our national security and energy independence for a system dependent on the whims of an antagonistic rival nation is a good bet.

Let’s “reimagine” our energy future with self-inflicted chaos from an ideology-induced public policy already failing in even the most sophisticated nations that have adopted it, even with all of those arguments answered with government ingenuity and sheer power of will. What then?

The policy would be as powerless as an EV Porsche on the side of the road on I-70 in western Kansas.

Why? Because the so-called green policies start their wind-powered engines on the wrong track. In a free society where the government is the handmaiden of the people, not their master, the people’s will powers the engine of the market. The fuel for the advancement of products and services is supply and demand.

The American people never cried out for EVs. Therefore, the markets never responded. When will power-hungry politicians and greedy government bureaucrats ever learn? “We the People” will always be the best, most affordable and guaranteed-sustainable policy.

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Top-down government regulation of the markets will always and forever be out of steam, out of gas, and just one more big ugly dead battery in the junkyard of failed policies.

We can do better. For the sake of the most vulnerable among us, we must.

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Michael A. Milton, Ph.D. (University of Wales), is a theologian, pastor, author and educator. He has served as a pastor in the Presbyterian Church in America and as a colonel in the U.S. Army chaplaincy. He has authored over 30 books and has taught at numerous institutions, including Reformed Theological Seminary and Erskine Theological Seminary. He currently serves as the distinguished professor of missions and evangelism at Erskine. Dr. Milton and his wife reside in western North Carolina.