Electric Vehicles Are Revitalizing… Coal Plants

Transitioning our nation’s mode of transportation from traditional combustion engines to electric vehicles has been a key component of the Biden administration’s climate goals. Biden’s EV infatuation has manifested itself in multiple policies, such as subsidies in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and proposed regulations by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that will push auto manufacturers towards EVs. However, the Biden administration may be in for a rude awakening as challenges with EV manufacturing continue to come to light.

In Kansas, a Panasonic electric vehicle battery factory is facing the reality of a rigged federal energy policy. While the plant is expected to receive subsidies from the IRA, costs have forced the energy provider to rely on a coal plant for power. The four million square foot facility will require 200 to 250 megawatts of electricity to operate, which is roughly the same amount of power needed for a small city, according to the Kansas City Star’s reporting.

The sheer amount of baseload power needed means the utility will continue to burn coal at a power plant whose units were slated to transition to natural gas. The hard truth for many environmentalists is evident: electric vehicles require a lot of energy. As the IRA’s renewable infrastructure build out grows across the country, the nation’s grid will endure more and more demand for electricity. This paradox could threaten the administration’s goals to ‘decarbonize,’ as more EVs on the road will also mean more electricity demand.

The Panasonic plant illustrates how the federal government is creating an untenable energy situation. The de-facto EV mandates should not be cemented in proposed EPA tailpipe regulations until our domestic energy sector is further solidified, and that means building more fossil fuel infrastructure. Producing more natural gas, and building the vital pipelines needed to carry it, will help provide our nation’s grids with reliable power. The Biden administration risks increasing costs for millions of Americans if a practical, all-of-the-above approach to energy is not followed.

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