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.
What are the details?
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.
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.