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No Reason 'Green Energy,' EV Batteries Should Escape Carbon Tax

No Reason 'Green Energy,' EV Batteries Should Escape Carbon Tax
(Andrey Popov/

Larry Bell By Wednesday, 21 February 2024 10:26 AM EST Current | Bio | Archive

Those eager to tax U.S. and imported hydrocarbon energy products that emit CO2 in order to end many millions of years of climate change should be cautious regarding those "green alternatives" they wish for.

Look no farther than "Foreign Pollution Fee Act" (FPFA) legislation proposed by Sens. Bill Cassidy, R-La., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. which would establish a misguided precedent for labeling plant-nourishing CO2 as a "pollutant" domestically as well.

As stated, the bill would amend the IRS Code of 1986 to impose a fee on certain imports based on their production "pollution intensity" in striving for "environmental protection in order to protect human health."

Tariffs would be imposed on 16 categories of goods produced with higher CO2 emissions than in the U.S., including solar panels, wind turbines, and electric vehicle (EV) battery minerals.

In addition to the steel, aluminum, concrete, and plastic needed to build them, the legislation would also tax the crude oil and petrochemicals that fuel their production and keep them operating.

First, for some much needed proportional perspective, consider that more than 80% of total world energy (not just citing electricity) comes from hydrocarbons, while much-touted wind and solar account for about 2% and 1% respectively.

Hydropower and nuclear combined add about another 11%, with just over 4% of primary energy from nuclear which faces cutbacks with about 25% of existing capacity in advanced economies expected to be shut down by 2025.

Bear in mind that it requires lots of that primary energy — again not just electricity — to produce all those solar panels and construct those giant fields of wind turbines.

Materials must be excavated by heavy machinery, transported to production facilities, melted, and fabricated into parts . . . then delivered to the installation site and constructed.

According to Mark Mills at the Manhattan Institute, constructing and replacing each wind turbine is estimated to consume about 30,000 tons of iron ore, 50,000 tons of concrete, and 900 tons of plastics for the huge blades.

They are also short on longevity and long on maintenance.

Many of those already installed are reaching their 15-20-year end of life to become enormous forests of costly junk.

A solar plant with enough output to supply about 75,000 homes would require half again more tonnage in cement, steel, and glass.

And after all, weren’t those so-called "alternative" sources supposed to be environmentally friendly?

Well maybe not so much.

Wind and solar require huge amounts of land and expensive transmission lines to deliver electricity from remote sites to high-demand metropolitan centers (plus power transmission losses).

Nearby landowners are filing numerous "not in my backyard" (NIMBY) lawsuits over wind projects for health concerns, including such symptoms as headaches, nausea, sleeplessness, and ringing in the ears resulting from prolonged exposure to inaudible low "infrasound" frequencies that penetrate walls.

Environmentalists also decry wind turbines as "Cuisinarts in the sky" for bird and bat slaughters.

And there’s nothing clean about many millions of tons of nonrecyclable solar panels and massive worn-out turbine blades that will wind up in landfills along with toxic elements such as dysprosium.

Then, since wind and solar are intermittent and weather dependent, humungous amounts of rare earth materials will be required for batteries to provide power on demand when needed . . . most of it to be purchased and transported from China (lithium) and the Congo (cobalt) which provide more than 80% of the world supply.

On top of that, don’t forget that those highly tax subsidized EVs our government is pushing on already overloaded grids can’t be recharged by sunbeams at night or cloudy days, nor friendly breezes when the wind isn’t blowing.

So, we also need a "spinning reserve" backup of reliable energy, typically natural gas turbines, to balance out and make up for fluctuating supply intermittence.

This isn’t very efficient — like driving a car in heavy traffic — plus it puts heavy stresses along with enormously increased EV recharging power demands on those already overburdened grids.

Yes, and don’t forget those “clean” EVs need batteries too…really big ones.

Each Tesla-class battery requires mining, moving, and processing more than 500,000 pounds of materials: 20 times more than the 25,000 pounds of petroleum that a typical internal combustion engine uses over the life of a car.

Mark Mills calculates that averaged over a 1,000-pound battery’s life, each mile of driving an EV “consumes” about five pounds of earth moved by hydrocarbon-powered vehicles . . . a comparable petroleum-fueled vehicle only consumes about 0.2 pounds of liquids per mile.

Although FPFA is largely politically marketed as a device to economically disadvantage China – a recognized true polluter with terrible environmental safeguards - it is their uncontrolled particulate emissions, not carbon dioxide that offer real cause for health and competitive pricing concerns as they continue to build the equivalence of about two new coal-fired plants weekly.

In any case, we are going to need oil — and natural gas — for many decades, most likely centuries, because there is no current replacement source capable of filling a huge supply gap.

And regarding the whole idea of wind, solar or EVs eliminating “carbon pollution” or climate change, don’t believe it for a moment.

The only thing truly “green” about any of them will come from pocketbooks of taxpayer subsidies and hiked-up energy costs and other inflation that fall heaviest upon the poorest among us.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Wind and solar require huge amounts of land and expensive transmission lines. And there’s nothing clean about many millions of tons of nonrecyclable solar panels and massive worn-out turbine blades that will wind up in landfills along with toxic elements.
dysprosium, green, pollutant
Wednesday, 21 February 2024 10:26 AM
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