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How Biden's Electrical Vehicle Push May be a Hidden Boon for the Coal Industry



By Valerie Richardson

November 21, 2020 - Before Democrats like presumptive President-elect Joseph R. Biden trade up to electric vehicles as part of a U.S. green-energy future, they might want to kick the tires on what that would mean for the environment.

Warnings are on the rise that going all-in on Tesla and Bolt in the name of achieving net-zero carbon emissions would result in another host of environmental problems with no guarantee of significant climate benefits.

“While activists and politicians endlessly tout electric vehicles as a ‘zero emissions’ solution to climate change and air pollution, replacing gasoline with electricity as the energy source for personal transportation does not eliminate emissions of air pollutants and carbon dioxide so much as displace them,” said Ben Lieberman, senior fellow at the free-market Competitive Enterprise Institute.

His study, released Tuesday and titled “Would Electric Vehicles Be Good for the Environment?,” warns of “serious environmental impacts” from shifting to electric vehicles, or EVs, including the increased mining and energy output needed to produce their batteries, as well as disposal challenges.

“Substantially moving millions of Americans from gas-powered cars and trucks into EVs would make these environmental downsides much more significant than they are now given that EVs are still a niche market,” Mr. Lieberman said.

Fans of an all-EV future imagine clearer air and cleaner skies from cars with no direct emissions, meaning tailpipe pollution. Both California and New Jersey have announced this year aggressive targets for sales of electric vehicles that would ultimately result in the elimination of gas guzzlers.

Genevieve Cullen, president of the Electric Drive Transportation Association, argued that the CEI paper “looks like another attempt at employing fuzzy math to deny the facts of the future of transportation, even in the face of undisputed scholarship on the current and future benefits of electric mobility.”