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OPINION

Biden Administration Drive to Eliminate Gas Powered Cars a Cause of UAW Strike

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

The Biden administration is reaping what they sow. They have pushed the most extreme version of the Green New Deal that is a cause of the UAW strike and a means for voters to better understand how extreme environmentalism is impacting their freedom to buy the care of their choice. The Biden administration proposed a rule to seize Americans’ gas-powered cars and replacing them with expensive Electric Vehicles (EVs), largely manufactured in China, is a disaster for the U.S. economy and for American consumers.

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The Biden Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is pushing emission standards that would mandate force an increase of zero-emission cars between 2027 through 2032. Diana Furchtgott-Roth of The Heritage Foundation wrote on June 12, 2023, “New proposed regulations on automobile emissions from the Environmental Protection Agency would require 60% of new car sales to be electric vehicles by 2030 and 67% by 2032, compared to the fewer than 6% that were on the road in 2022—for no environmental benefit.” This transition is completely unrealistic and will provide no environmental benefit.

Many policy experts have pointed out that this mandate will cause distortions in the economy that will benefit foreign suppliers of EVs over American manufacturers and workers. Marlo Lewis, of the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), wrote that this de facto mandate is troublesome, because American “Automakers cannot comply without rapidly phasing out internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles and rapidly increasing sales of battery-powered vehicles.” California has taken the mandate a step further and officially banned the sale of gas-powered cars by 2035. The Biden administration’s plan is similar, because they are forcing automakers to manufacture a percentage of zero emission vehicles and a fleet-average of emission standards that will make it impossible for those who want a gas-powered car to find one. The goal is to force Americans to buy EVs whether they want to or not.

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The reason why this shift to EVs is one of the causes the UAW strike is that EVs need less labor to make. The New York Times reported on September 13, 2023, “at the heart of the debate is whether the shift to electric vehicles, which have fewer parts and generally require less labor to assemble than gas-powered cars, will accelerate the decline of unionized work in the industry.” Add in the fact that China makes 80% of the batteries in EVs and is accelerating the manufacture of electric cars to compete with Tesla and the Big Three American manufacturers of American made EVs and you can see why the automakers are reluctant to lock themselves into inflated salaries.

The UAW strike is putting a focus on the Biden administration’s aggressive Green New Deal push to force the economy to convert to renewable energy. Environmentalists could care less if Americans in Michigan and Ohio lose jobs because of a forced conversion from popular gas-powered cares to expensive, fancy electric cars. The campaign arm that is trying to re-elect Joe Biden does. The President can expect his numbers in the swing states of Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania to crater if he is perceived to care more about hugging trees than preserving American jobs.

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Consumers don’t want EVs for several reasons. They can’t use these cars to drive long distances, because there are not enough charging stations for all the EVs on the road today. If it is cold, then they take forever to charge. Same if it is too hot. If one is on a long drive, they can fill up a traditional gas tank in 5 minutes as opposed to having to slowly sip a latte while waiting over an hour to get a charge into their car EV battery.

There also is the core issue of freedom. American companies and consumers should not be forced to sell and buy cars that many don’t want. There are Americans who have high paying jobs and want to virtue signal that they love the environment. There are other Americans struggling under Bidenomics who can’t afford these expensive electric cars. 

Notice that Congress will not touch the issue of forcing automakers to change over to EVs. They know better. It seems like the Biden team was more worried about the opinions of environmentalists than the fears of UAW union workers and car buyers. This issue is one that should be handled by Congress as part of the legislative process, not through the edict of unelected bureaucrats at the EPA.

The Biden administration is in danger of turning off even more voters with the UAW strike and their campaign to take away your gas-powered car. The authoritarian plot to force Americans to dump their fossil fuel powered Corvette in favor of a plug in Tesla may end up being the deciding factor that puts Republicans back in charge of Congress and the White House.

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