Biden Hits Brakes on EV Push as Election Looms, But Still Imposes New Regulations

Biden Hits Brakes on EV Push as Election Looms, But Still Imposes New Regulations

Apparently, the existential threat of climate change diminishes during election years.

According to Reuters, on Tuesday the Biden administration’s Department of Energy announced measures supposedly designed to ease the auto industry’s painful transition to electric-vehicle manufacturing.

It was a scaled back version of the original proposed standards, as Reuters reported, and the news agency called it a “major win” for Detroit automakers. But most of all it’s a clear effort to make the administration’s radical environmental agenda something voters in Michigan and other areas of the country can swallow — at least long enough for President Joe Biden’s re-election campaign.

In short, the Biden administration still would like to push electric vehicles onto skeptical consumers. But, in the meantime, it will allow automakers to continue selling what Reuters called “highly profitable gasoline-powered pickups and SUVs” without facing “billions of dollars in fines.”

Those pickups and SUVs, of course, have proven “highly profitable” because consumers want them.

Biden, however, serves an establishment dominated by virtue-signaling liberals.

And those liberals love nothing more than to virtue-signal over climate change. In fact, America’s most affluent and elitist liberals regard climate change as a problem serious enough to warrant authoritarian remedies.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s news release announcing the new standards reflects that. Its extremely wordy headline is:

“Biden-Harris Administration finalizes strongest-ever pollution standards for cars that position U.S. companies and workers to lead the clean vehicle future, protect public health, address the climate crisis, save drivers money.”

(Note that supposedly saving drivers money comes last.)

Thus, on many occasions, the president has catered to his elitist base by describing climate change in apocalyptic terms.

For instance, in a November speech, Biden called climate change an “existential threat” and “the ultimate threat to humanity.”

Recent developments, however, have forced the president to take a more pragmatic approach to this supposed existential threat.

First, manufacturers have responded to the lack of consumer demand for EVs.

Last month, for instance, Mercedes-Benz announced that it had abandoned its plan to go all-electric by decade’s end.

That announcement came only days after Amazon-backed EV manufacturer Rivian reported that it would slash its salaried workforce by approximately 10 percent in the wake of poor earnings and a dismal outlook.

And reality has a way of working its way into even Democratic politics.

Undoubtedly, however, the Biden administration’s chief motivation lies in appealing to Michigan-based auto manufacturers and workers.

Climate change, after all, appears far less existentially threatening to Biden than the potential loss of Michigan’s 15 electoral votes.

The latest RealClear Polling average showed former President Donald Trump leading Biden by 3.5 percentage points in Michigan. In a five way race involving independent presidential candidates Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Cornel West, along with Green Party candidate Jill Stein, Trump held an identical 3.5-point average lead.

Furthermore, in Michigan’s Democratic presidential primary earlier this month, voters sent Biden a clear message of disapproval. More than 100,000 disaffected Democrats cast their ballots for “uncommitted” rather than Biden.

Considering Trump’s leads in other swing states, Biden almost certainly must hold Michigan to win re-election. And even that might not be enough.

In the meantime, auto manufacturers and consumers will benefit from the Biden administration’s acknowledgment of economic and political considerations that outweigh even the most existential threats.


This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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