EV owners are currently enjoying a free lunch, by not contributing funds for road maintenance
Published April 12, 2023, at Heartland https://heartland.org/opinion/heavier-evs-not-funding-california-roadways/
Ronald Stein is an engineer, senior policy advisor on energy literacy for the Heartland Institute and CFACT, and co-author of the Pulitzer Prize nominated book “Clean Energy Exploitations.”
California has almost 400,000 miles of roadways used by the State’s 31 million vehicles. Those roadways are heavily dependent on road taxes from fuels that contribute more than $8.8 billion annually, the same gas tax revenues that also funds many environmental programs. That revenue source will be diminishing in the decades ahead as EV’s begin to replace internal combustion engine vehicles.
California Governor Gavin Newsom has mandated no sales of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles after 2035 but appears incapable of acknowledging EV’s currently contribute nothing for road maintenance and repairs and that EV’s are heavier than ICE vehicles and will be inflicting more wear and tear on California roadways.
Newsom’s silence on how California will finance the billions of dollars for the roads being used by those heavier EV’s is an indication that he will just pass that problem on to his succesor. Newsom will not even discuss funding for future road maintenance as the EV mandate starts to negatively impact the revenue stream to maintain California roadways.
It’s public knowledge of Newsom’s dyslexia challenges that may hamper his ability to read reports that renewables and fossil fuels are not comparable for their support of humanity, but California voters support his avoidance of addressing those tough energy policy questions that would expose his limited energy literacy.
Regarding the high cost of energy in California, voters continue to be complacent with the state governments hidden taxes and mandates that contribute to the highest energy costs in America:
- Fuels that are more than a dollar a gallon higher than the national average and
- Electricity rates that are more than 60 percent higher than the national average and
- Natural gas rates are more than 30 percent higher than the national average.
The California Governor may be experiencing a “dangerous delusion” of a global transition to “just electricity” that eliminates the use of the fossil fuels that made society achieve so much in a few centuries. From the proverb “you can’t have your cake and eat it too” tells us that:
- you can’t rid the world of fossil fuels and
- continue to enjoy the products and fuels manufactured from fossil fuels.
Newsom may not be well read that there is little to compare between fossil fuels and renewables as fossil fuels are primarily used to manufacture products and fuels for humanity, while renewables manufacture nothing for humanity.
To add insult to injury, those so-called renewables of wind and solar are 100 percent made from the products manufactured from fossil fuels!
The above insult pales to my disappointment that our elite leaders are oblivious to the fact that fossil fuels made it possible for humanity to grow from 1 to 8 billion in 200 years, because they can be manufactured into thousands of usable, life-enhancing and life-saving products. On the other hand, renewables can only generate occasional electricity, but cannot manufacture anything for humanity, while fossil fuels manufacture everything for humanity.
By contrast, “transitioning” humanity to just electricity means converting to wind and solar systems that can manufacture none of the vital products now being used by humanity. That will very likely cause the death of BILLIONS of people from diseases, malnutrition, lowered living standards and weather-related disasters, whereas projections of millions of fatalities from “carbon emissions” and climate change are based on computer models that take none of these realities into account.
National economies and nations’ militaries still run on fossil fuels. As both World War I and II historians Russia and China know, the country that controls the minerals, crude oil, and natural gas, controls the world! They both know there is no substitute for fossil fuel product dominance in the foreseeable future, even on a longer-term horizon. To believe a transition to just electricity from renewables is possible from the products manufactured from fossil fuels and act accordingly is suicidal for humanity. As former Congressman Don Ritter of Pennsylvania wrote “It’s the real “existential threat.”
In any event, you cannot run households, businesses, hospitals, and the military on occasional electricity and no products from fossil fuels!
EV buyers beware that the “tax equalizer”, higher electrical rates and/or the “VMT” is coming. The Vehicle Mileage Tax (VMT) that has been discussed for years sounds like a logical idea – requiring the users of the highways to pay the fees to maintain those highways. The VMT tax will be needed to replace the $8.8 billion annually from fuel sales that will be diminishing in the decades ahead.
Ronald Stein, P.E.
Ambassador for Energy & Infrastructure