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Your Opinion: 'Electric' cars powered partly by fossil fuels

Your Opinion: 'Electric' cars powered partly by fossil fuels

January 7th, 2018 by Bert Dirschell, Centertown in Opinion

Dear Editor:

Several questions came to mind as I read the YES/NO columns on electric vehicles, in the Jan. 2 edition of the News Tribune.

Are there people who can't grasp the concept that the majority of our electricity is produced by burning fossil fuels? According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration 65 percent of our electricity is produced by burning fossil fuels, another 20 percent is produced by nuclear plants and 6.5 percent is produced by hydropower. An "electric" car is over 30 percent coal powered.

Mr. Madsen stated, "Big Auto and Big Oil killed the electric car once. They won't be permitted to do so again." Mr. Madsen seems to imply that there was a huge demand for electric-powered vehicles that no one would supply. Back in ancient times universities taught that there was a "law of supply and demand," if there was demand for a product someone would provide the product, if the profit potential exceeded the risk. Prohibition and our nation's drug epidemic would seem to confirm that such a "law" exists. Why was there no one on the planet who would provide electric vehicles to those who wanted one?

Without massive government subsidies (CBO estimated $8 billion through 2019) there would be no significant electric vehicle market in the U.S. today. Buy a $40,000 Chevy Bolt and the government will pile $7,500 of debt on your children and give you the money, as a means of suckering you into making the deal. (Even with the subsidies GM loses $9,000 on every Bolt it sells, according to an article by CNBC.) Another bonus is no gas tax, if you buy an electric car others are forced to pay for the roads you use.

If you want one, buy one, but don't pile more debt on future generations to subsidize your purchase.

The bottom line on this issue, like so many others, is whether we citizens are to stupid to be allowed to make lifestyle choices. I support freedom of choice/lifestyle right up to the point where that freedom infringes on the freedoms of another. I am actually so naive as to believe that we in America can make reasonable choices, especially if the nanny state federal government would quit rewarding those who make poor choices.