Fundamental Flaw

There is a fundamental flaw in the idea that the government can use carbon-emission taxes (cap & trade) to artificially raise the price of energy to the point that electric cars and other ‘green’ technologies become economically viable.

Here is the flaw: Even with subsidies, a Chevy Volt will cost around $41,000. For an electric shoe box.

That does NOT include the cost of replacing all the batteries every five years. Nor does it include the cost of electricity to charge it, which will radically increase if cap & trade or other carbon tax is enacted. Nor does it include the cost to the public of those subsidies. (Update 7/29/10 – article on Hot Air recapping the math.)

About a year ago, I bought a brand new pickup truck for about half that amount.

Economically, the current level of ‘green’ vehicles cannot compete with good old gasoline powered vehicles. Obama / Liberal / Democrat efforts to force this transition before we are really ready will simply mean many, many people will be afoot due to the incredible rise in the cost of transportation. If you can’t afford to pay double or triple for the cost of transportation, this means you!

It’s hard for me to see how this is good for our country – or its people. Not everybody lives where there is public transportation. Even if you do, that cost will rise as well.

The environmentalists believe that we must do something, right now, to avoid destruction. My views on this are detailed elsewhere on this blog, but suffice it to say that I don’t think we’re all going to die next Wednesday because of this, and I don’t believe that mankind either caused it or can fix it, at our current level of technology. The projected environmental benefits of cap and trade and the push to ‘green’ energy are absolutely minuscule compared to the cost.

Make no mistake, we will eventually have to make the transition to new technologies, because oil is a finite resource. But we can’t do it now, with current technology, without major economic upheavals. We need technological development of green technologies to the point that it is reasonably competitive with existing oil-based technologies – specifically in order to avoid that economic upheaval.

The simple fact is, the technology is not yet cost-effective. If it were, I’d be all for it.


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