Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Unplug the Green Boondoggle

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

Many groups and countries are lining up for new handouts by Congress, now that it is functioning again with a new Speaker. Among those with their hats in their hands for billions of dollars is the green energy industry of windmills and battery-powered cars.

Fortunately, newly inducted House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) is fully supported by conservative lawmakers in the House who want separate votes on spending-neutral bills. First out of the gate is a $14.3 billion aid package to Israel that is funded by repealing part of Biden’s $80 billion IRS expansion.

On Monday, Biden’s Treasury Department announced that it will borrow the most ever for a fourth quarter: $776 billion. The multi-billion-dollar cost of the Leftist green agenda is not something we can afford to ignore anymore.

Ask Ford Motor Company. Since last Thursday afternoon, Ford’s stock has fallen by 14% in three business days on news of its losing a more-than-expected $1.33 billion in its electric vehicle (EV) unit for the third quarter, which translates into an average loss of $36,000 on every EV it sold.

Once a preeminent American corporation, Ford’s value has fallen to only $38 billion in market capitalization, and it cannot survive annual losses of $5 billion on EVs. A sharp increase in costs for raw materials needed by the batteries in EVs has cast doubt on if and when electric cars would ever be profitable to sell, despite mandates by Biden and California Gov. Gavin Newsom.

As found by a new study released by the Texas Public Policy Foundation, “the average EV accrues $48,698 in subsidies and $4,569 in extra charging and electricity costs over a 10-year period, for a total cost of $53,267.” When converted into an equivalent subsidy per gallon of gasoline, it’s as though the government paid an extra $16.12 per gallon for a conventional internal combustion engine vehicle.

Hertz took a hit in its latest earnings report due to unexpected losses from operating the largest EV fleet in the rental car industry. Hertz announced a pause in its acquisition of more EVs.

Another green energy money pit is the wasteful spending on wind power, as illustrated by the often-idle giant wind turbines visible from many highways. Despite decades of effort and billions of dollars in spending, wind power is still unable to pay for itself.

Record cold temperatures across the United States this Halloween include October snow showers in eight midwestern states. The 20 and 30-degree drops in temperature being felt from Dallas to the East Coast require affordable energy or else there will be another jolt to inflation.

In August 2000, General Electric was the most valuable company in the world, having a market capitalization of $601 billion. Today, as it loses $1 billion annually on its offshore wind farms that blight the ocean view for many Americans, the value of the company founded by Thomas Edison has fallen by more than 80%, to just $116 billion.

Wind turbines fail to produce power when it’s needed most, such as on very hot or very cold days, and their maintenance expenses are exorbitant. The inconsistent supply of energy from wind turbines causes spikes that harm the energy grid.

Rising interest rates have laid bare the billions of dollars in operating losses generated by the noisy and ugly windmills. Since low-interest loans are no longer available, green energy companies will be forced to seek billions more in subsidies from the federal government to offset mounting losses.

As the funding of the federal government expires on November 17, the liberal wastefulness of green energy will be one of many senseless entitlements seeking new handouts in the next fiscal year. “Government is too invested to let these companies go bust, and taxpayers will be charged for the repair job,” the Wall Street Journal warned last weekend.

The real federal deficit has doubled from $1 trillion (not just billion) to $2 trillion in merely one year, while Biden demands another $100 billion to spend on no-win foreign wars. House Speaker Johnson wisely separates a vote on emergency aid to Israel from a vote on the much larger spending package demanded by Zelensky in Ukraine with the support of Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) despite rising conservative opposition.

A financial collapse, typically unpredictable in its timing, becomes increasingly likely under the weight of this crushing debt. Ending subsidies for green energy and foreign wars is a great place to start to save our economy.

Due to inflation caused by the wasteful government spending, the interest costs alone on the mountain of debt run up by Biden will soon exceed our total spending on our national defense. With a new Speaker, conservatives in the House have a golden opportunity to realign our nation’s priorities.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work.

These columns are also posted on PhyllisSchlafly.com, pseagles.com, and Townhall.com.

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