2020-07-23 06:36:54 UTC
As part of a massive new $2 trillion climate plan unveiled Tuesday, presumptive
Democratic nominee Joe Biden promised to shift America away from gas-powered vehicles
through executive action on the first day of his presidency.
In the first key element of his campaign's plan for a "clean energy revolution," the
former vice president vowed to "take executive action on Day 1 to not just reverse
all of the damage Trump has done, but go further and faster."
Here's what the plan states with the main point in bold:
Day 1 of the Biden Administration is going to be very busy! To immediately make
progress on his climate agenda, Biden will take actions including requiring
aggressive methane pollution limits for new and existing oil and gas operations;
developing rigorous new fuel economy standards aimed at ensuring 100% of new sales
for light- and medium-duty vehicles will be zero emissions and annual improvements
for heavy duty vehicles; protecting America's natural treasures by permanently
protecting the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and other areas impacted by President
Trump's attack on federal lands and waters; and banning new oil and gas leasing on
public lands and waters. (emphasis mine)
Should it be carried out, the move to develop fuel economy standards equivalent to
electric vehicles would effectively outlaw the sale and production of gas-powered
vehicles in the United States.
While the campaign's proposal does not say exactly when Biden's 100% electric vehicle
mandate would be implemented, it suggests that developing the new standards will be a
major priority of his energy policy early on in his presidency.
The editorial board at Issues & Insights notes that House Democrats have already
established a timetable in their new climate change plan, which calls for mandating
100% "clean" vehicles by 2035.
Eliminating the internal combustible engine has long been a wish list item for
progressive politicians, but regular Americans have been far less keen on jumping on
the electric car bandwagon.
According to the I&I editorial board, "plug-in electrics account for 0.5% of cars on
the road, and made up less than 2% of new vehicles sold in 2019."
Besides, critics argue, the technology behind electric cars in terms of its
effectiveness in reducing carbon emissions has not been perfected.
According to a 2018 study conducted by Politico not exactly a right-wing news
source having more electric cars on the road could actually increase pollution, due
to the emissions that come from producing electricity.
Another study by the University of Michigan's Transportation Research Institute found
that when electricity production was factored in, the average plug-in produces as
much CO2 over its lifetime as a gas-powered car that gets 55 miles per gallon. In
other words, the impact is somewhat negligible.