California’s deciders want to ban everyone’s cars. If we’re talking about cars that aren’t – cough – “zero emissions” electric cars.
The state’s Chief Decider – Gauleiter und OberGesundheitsFuhrer Gavin Newsome – has already decreed via “executive order” that only electric cars shall be legal for sale within the borders of what was once the Golden State by 2035.
Now, two of the state’s national-level Deciders – Senators Alex Padilla and Dianne Feinstein – are urging the ban on other-than-electric cars be applied nationally.
“We believe the national baseline should, at an absolute minimum, be built around the technical lead set by companies that voluntarily advanced their agreements with California,” says Padilla, who replaced Kamala Harris in the Senate. “California and other states need a strong federal partner.”
Ein Volk! Ein Reich! Ein Car!
The electric car.
The vehicle for this will not be marketed as a ban outright, however. Instead, it is being marketed as the “rewriting of emissions rules,” which were purportedly “slashed” under the regime of the villainous Orange Man. This is a piece of rhetoric up there with the marketing of the “Patriot” Act and – earlier precedent – The Law to Remedy the Distress of the People and the Reich.
Orange Man did not “slash” any “emissions” regulations. What he did was dial back the scheduled increase in federal MPG mandatory minimums, an altogether different thing being used to systematically but oleaginously shadow ban gas and diesel-powered cars without formally banning them.
The federal apparat has been issuing “executive orders” – i.e., regulatory edicts – since the 1970s regarding how many miles per gallon every car (and truck) sold in America must go else its manufacturer receives a “fine” – that is to say, is extorted – as punishment for not having met whatever the standard is. These fines are then factored into the sticker price of the offending new car, thereby making it more expensive and thus progressively less and less affordable.
With the end goal being to make such cars unaffordable.
Voila – they are banned – without having actually banned them. That is the purpose behind the escalation of MPG minimums, which have risen from just over 20 MPG initially – back in the mid-1970s – to pushing 50 MPG (what the Orange Man tried to dial back) by 2025 and which Feinstein, et al wish to see dialed up.
Almost no one questions why the government is issuing these orders given customer orders would surely accomplish the putative purpose – assuming customers desire the things the government says they do, i.e., MPGs Uber Alles.
Of course, it is not questioned because the answer is that many customers value other attributes uber alles – such as a larger/more powerful vehicle, for instance – or more affordable vehicles. And are willing to spend more of their money on gas as the price of that.
It does not matter, either, that before the government got into the mandating of MPGs uber alles there were many cars that offered high gas mileage – for those who wished to pay the price of driving a small, not-very-powerful car.
Or who didn’t want to pay more for the car, to spend less on gas.
The problem here is that not everyone wants to drive a smaller, not-very-powerful car nor spend a fortune on a car for the sake of MPGs uber alles – and (far more problematic) some people are quite happy to spend more of their money on cars that aren’t especially “efficient” but are very good at other things.
It is a problem when freedom of choice is loathed – and the government is the apotheosis of that loathing. Freedom of choice means the freedom to say no to what other people think is “best” and to say yes to what you think is best – for you.
There is no power in that for government. For gauleiters, gesundgeitsfuhrers and other such order-givers.
The problem for government is that it is hard to sell the taking away of choice. And of mobility – which is what electric cars specialize in, uber alles.
So it is done using different language. The language of guilt. It is not about MPGs. It is about “emissions,” with all the ugly connotations that attend.
But the “emissions” at issue are different “emissions.” They are not the ones most people associate with the word – i.e., the vapors that water the eyes and irritate the lungs, which darken the skies with smog and soot. Those emissions have been an irrelevance since the early 1990s, by which time vehicle exhaust scrubbers (catalytic converters) and precise control of combustion via electronic fuel injection had all but eliminated them, the tiny fraction remaining being of no meaningful consequence as regards health or air quality.
The answer was – is – the redefinition of “emissions” to encompass a gas that was previously not so defined, because it played no role whatsoever in the formation of smog, the irritating of lungs or the watering of eyes.
The beauty of this gas is that it cannot be scrubbed “clean” except by not producing it. Which makes it the perfect vehicle for banning all cars that are not electric cars, even though electric cars cause the generation of the same gas, just at a different location.
If the “concern” expressed by the various gauleiters und gesundheitsfuhrers was in fact about the gas then it would not matter whether it is “emitted” at the tailpipe – or the smokestack. It would certainly be a matter of grave “concern” that most EVs are high-performance EVs, which is to say they cause the generation of far more gas than is necessary for the sake of that high-performance capability.
But not a peep.
Never mind. Go back to sleep.
Pay no attention to those men – and women – behind the curtain.
. . .
Got a question about cars, Libertarian politics – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!
If you like what you’ve found here please consider supporting EPautos.
PS: Get an EPautos magnet or sticker or coaster in return for a $20 or more one-time donation or a $10 or more monthly recurring donation. (Please be sure to tell us you want a magnet or sticker or coaster – and also, provide an address, so we know where to mail the thing!)
My eBook about car buying (new and used) is also available for your favorite price – free! Click here. If that fails, email me at EPeters952@yahoo.com and I will send you a copy directly!