While Americans are paying trillions of dollars for President Joe Biden’s climate change agenda, that agenda is weakening America’s national security, and China is set to profit heavily from this folly.
As members of Congress were leaving Washington for the August recess, Biden’s National Highway Transportation Safety Administration quietly published new proposed fuel economy standards for passenger cars and light trucks. If the new rule were implemented as written, new cars and light trucks would be forced to meet a 66-mile-per-gallon and 54-mile-per-gallon standard, respectively, by 2032.
This rule, along with the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed de facto electric vehicle mandate to require nearly 70% of all new car sales to be electric vehicles by 2032, is being implemented to further the Biden regime’s climate agenda.
Of particular interest is the rationale for the rule. The NHTSA repeatedly claims that by instituting these nearly impossible fuel economy standards, America will become more energy secure, thereby increasing national security. The central planners argue that by forcing new cars to use less gas, America would be less dependent on imports.
However, America is one of the world’s largest producers of oil and natural gas. If energy security were truly important to Biden, he would be promoting policies that increase gas and oil production instead of reducing the production of two of the nation’s most valuable commodities.
Included in Biden’s agenda are regulatory obstacles to new oil drilling and a forced transition to alternative energy sources, such as wind and solar power. These policies have lowered the incentive for domestic energy production and increased U.S. reliance on foreign imports, reducing the country’s energy security.
Such policies are driven by the administration’s zealous—and wholly unrealistic—pursuit of stopping climate change.
Energy security is vital to national security, as was recently illustrated with Russia cutting off natural gas to Western Europe during the war with Ukraine. The more that America weakens itself with burdensome regulations that stifle domestic energy production while simultaneously enacting stringent emissions and fuel economy standards, the more it puts itself at the mercy of other countries.
Regulating gas-powered cars out of existence while subsidizing electric vehicles is a boon to China, since it controls 80% of global EV battery production and holds much influence over nations awash with the rare earth minerals to produce those batteries, such as the Democratic Republic of Congo. In the event of a forced EV transition, as Biden has planned for 2032, America would become further dependent on China and would enrich the Chinese Communist Party.
Furthermore, by restricting oil and gas leasing on public lands, as the Bureau of Land Management seeks to do in Colorado, for instance, Biden is cutting the amount of domestic energy production and the amount of electricity that Americans can use to power their homes, businesses, and lives (because a certain share of power plants generate electricity using natural gas).
Essentially, the administration is burning the energy security candle at both ends.
To make matters worse, these policies that raise prices for Americans, reduce consumer choice, and benefit foreign adversaries will achieve nothing in reducing global pollution. According to Heritage Foundation chief statistician Kevin Dayaratna, even if America were to stop all conventional fuel use, global temperatures would be reduced by a mere 0.2 degrees Celsius by 2100. At the same time, China has abandoned the Paris Agreement on climate and is expected to increase carbon emissions from its coal-fired power plants.
The NHTSA’s position that its new fuel economy standards will increase energy security by reducing gasoline consumption is categorically wrong. By regulating gas-powered cars out of existence, America will become even more dependent on China for critical EV components. When America reduces domestic energy production by shutting down oil and gas leases, we restrict our own supply, making us dependent on imports from hostile nations.
Worst of all, none of this has to happen: America, a nation with every potential to be the world’s energy leader now and into the future, is crippling itself due to a federal government that is pursuing climate delusions with nothing to show for it. It’s time to reverse course and stop America’s road to economic and national security suicide.
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