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The Great ‘Green Energy Transition’ That Wasn’t

Posted on Wednesday, November 1, 2023
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by Outside Contributor
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80 Comments
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Detail of green ecological plug in for cars

One of the textbook marketing flops of all time was the Ford Edsel sedan, which was heralded as the hot new car in the late 1950s. All the automotive experts and Ford executives said it was a can’t-miss. Henry Ford (the car was named after his son) guaranteed hundreds of thousands of sales. 

But one big thing went wrong: Nobody ever bothered to ask car buyers what they thought of the new car. As it turned out, they hated it. So instead of sales of 400,000, Americans bought 10,000, and the model was embarrassingly discontinued. 

The obvious lesson for the industry: You can’t bribe Americans to buy cars they don’t want. Given the all-in approach to electric vehicles at Ford and General Motors, it’s clear that Detroit never got the message. 

Last week, Honda and GM announced an end to their two-year collaboration in building a platform for lower-cost EVs. Honda execs said it was too hard.

Amazingly, less than 10% of all new car sales over the last two years were EVs. This is despite the fact that the U.S. government is writing a $7,500 check to people for buying an EV, and some states are kicking in $5,000 more. The Texas Policy Foundation calculates that all-in EV subsidies can reach $40,000 per vehicle. It would practically be cheaper for the government to purchase a new gas vehicle for every American car buyer. 

Energy expert Robert Bryce estimates that Ford has lost $62,000 for each EV it has rolled off the assembly line. That’s hardly a road to profitability. 

Meanwhile, the news is even worse for wind and solar power. The Wall Street Journal reported last week that “clean energy” investment funds are tanking, with some down as much as 70% in recent months. Solar has been one of the worst-performing industry stocks this year.  

This collapse is happening right when Exxon and Chevron have engineered a combined $110 billion blockbuster acquisitions to expand oil and gas drilling in the Permian Basin in Texas, one of the biggest oil fields in the world. This year, they both reported their largest profits ever.

They and their investors are looking at the real-world data, not green energy propaganda. In 2023, the world is guzzling oil and gas like never before. Global consumption of fossil fuels was higher in 2022 than at any time in human history, even as the developed countries spend hundreds of billions of dollars trying to stop oil, gas and coal. 

Despite the $370 billion green energy slush fund stashed in the federal budget, almost 80% of our energy still comes from old-fashioned fossil fuels. We’re a long, long way from “net zero.” And remember: Unlike green energy, fossil fuels get almost no subsidies. In fact, they pay taxes. 

All of this is to say that there is no “global energy transition” going on. If there is one, it’s away from green energy, not toward it.

Stephen Moore is a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation and a co-founder of the Committee to Unleash Prosperity. His latest book is: “Govzilla: How the Relentless Growth of Government Imperils Our Economy.”

Reprinted with Permission from CFIF.org – By Stephen Moore

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Nick
Nick
6 months ago

One of these days people are going to wake up to the irrefutable fact that carbon dioxide does not warm the planet. This nonsense of NetZero is a total waste of money and a huge increase in taxes regulation and government. 1600 scientists came out and verified that it is a complete hoax. The media is sweeping that under the carpet. I take great pride in being labeled a denier that’s a scientific term in case you didn’t know it. Any side that says you have to be put in jail if you do not agree with me has no argument. It is complete and nonsense they have been beating this dead horse for 50 years. They should be charged with child abuse because they’re teaching it as science in schools. Pure and simple Marxist indoctrination

USN Retired
USN Retired
6 months ago

What? Us “Capitalist” are buying what we want, not what we are told?? Go figure . . .

Rik
Rik
6 months ago

Duh! . . . I remember the Ford Edsel, it was a colossal flop! . . . Electric cars, NO THANKS! . . . Solar power, AGAIN NO THANKS! . . . Live and Learn the Hard Way!
Sometimes, People Never Learn EXCEPT When It Affects Their Pocketbook! This appears to be case again!

Pat R
Pat R
6 months ago

The globalists’ agenda to make everyone “tow the line” of their edicts is turning out to be a colossal failure. The only ones who bought into Klaus Schwab’s Great Reset were the world’s elitists and leaders.
But hey, they’ve not been cognizant of or care about what ‘ordinary’ people want, do, buy or how they live. Globalists’ desire was to control everyone as slaves and their push toward that goal came with the Covid lockdowns, etc. BUT I’d say a majority of folks, even those who willingly “obeyed” have awakened to the reality that it was no more than a power trip for those in charge. AND WE’RE NOT HAVING ANY PART OF IT AGAIN.
Common sense folks knew the reality of EVs from the beginning – the expense involved, the fact electricity grids could not handle it, electricity is @40% generated using fossil fuels, etc., etc. Those pushing EVs never thought of or considered costs and consequences. Shows who was smarter, yet again.

mikem
mikem
6 months ago

just another example that democrats are stupid.

Steven
Steven
6 months ago

It’s way past time to end this fantasy about “Green Energy”. When it costs you more to produce Green Energy than to use our plentiful and cheap natural resources like oil & natural gas then it’s time to face reality. As an avid car enthusiast and a Ford Mustang Historian, I have canceled subscriptions to Motor Trend & Car & Driver Magazines because of their nonsensical and unrealistic approach to electric cars. We have neither the infrastructure nor the power grid necessary to support this technology. The marketplace not the government should determine what type of vehicles we buy and the government should not be subsidizing any industry. Yes, the Edsel was a flop and it caused Ford to forgo any new car projects for several years. Lee Iacocca, a visionary who became General Manager of the Ford Division, had the Mustang turned down four times before he convinced Henry Ford II that this was the right car at the right time for a new youth market. He eventually convinced Henry Ford II that the Mustang would appeal to a wide range of buyers. When Ford asked Iacocca if he could sell the car Iacocca said that he could. Ford said, “You’d better.” Iacocca initiated the largest marketing campaign in the history of the auto industry and introduced the Ford Mustang at the New York World’s Fair on April 17, 1964. The Mustang set sales records that have never been duplicated. They sold over 1 million cars in a year and a half and could have sold more if they could have produced more cars! Our gas powered cars today are very efficient and produce very little carbon dioxide which by the way we need for our trees in order to produce oxygen. As in all of these crazy schemes we just have to follow the money to see who benefits from government involvement.

Philip Seth Hammersley
Philip Seth Hammersley
6 months ago

Did the government ever subsidize Henry Ford or the Dodge brothers? (Not counting the recent bailouts.) Did they provide taxpayers’ money for gasoline service stations? Why is the government involved at all?

Myrna
Myrna
6 months ago

We don’t need another 4 years of unforced errors. We can’t afford it.

Kenneth
Kenneth
6 months ago

Maybe they should remake those “E” hood ornaments from the Edsel and put them on the cars to tell others that they are electric.(pun intended).

Franny
Franny
6 months ago

I was reading on solar panels and the problem is they are to expensive to recycle so they wind up in the landfill, As far as electric vehicles no thank you,they are not dependable transportation and if parked in your garage they can very possibly catch fire, a friend had one in there garage the vehicle caught fire and there homeowner insurance declined payment for the fire they are fighting it but who do you think is going to win! This green new deal was brought on by the one and only AOC she needs to back to bar tending .The administration we currently have is horrible in decisions, as you can see the world is on fire thanks Joey potato head . I can’t wait for 2024

Rick
Rick
6 months ago

The only green that made a transition, was the green that has transitioned out of
the taxpayers pocket!

GTO
GTO
6 months ago

The forced green agenda was way premature, and it won’t be time for purchasers to voluntarily buy electric vehicles any time soon, if ever. In the forced green agenda attempt all that has happened is fuel and energy costs have gone through the roof and the economy has suffered immensely.

Bob Olden
Bob Olden
6 months ago

Hybrid cars are a great solution to reduce pollution. I love my Prius and I have owned 3 so far. I also had a truck that ran on propane gas. Carburetors can be modified to use propane gas. Then all that is needed is a tank and a feeder line to the carburetor. This doesn’t equal the horsepower, but it practically eliminates pollutants. Unless you think CO2 is a pollutant, which is nonsense.
These and other solutions are so much more practical to reduce the amount of fossil fuels we need and the amount of pollution that affects our environment.
Frankly, we should be far more concerned about the mind pollution that affects millions in the U.S. and around the world! That will lead to global disaster far more quickly than global warming!

A Voter
A Voter
6 months ago

Leave it to liberals to promise the sky and deliver a mud hole. They do it every time. The liberal world view is all butterflies and rainbows because they refuse to accept reality for what it is. When the utopia they imagine fails to materialize, they blame republicans and the cycle repeats over and over again and again.

Derby
Derby
6 months ago

Actually, I liked the Edsel (different strokes for different folks). Well, at least the 1958 model. The 1959 model not so much and the few 1960 models I did not care for at all. I never owned one. By the time I purchased my first car the Edsel was no longer being built. When the Edsel came out my only criteria for liking or not liking an automobile was the style. Whether they were good or bad based on the engine and/or features, I had no idea.

As for electrics, I’m not against them but they should not be subsidized by government. If nobody wants to buy them for what the manufacturer can sell them for — tough!!

Scott L
Scott L
6 months ago

It would practically be cheaper for the government to purchase a new gas vehicle for every American car buyer.”
It would be cheaper still if the government would stay the hell out of people’s lives.
But I guess it’s way too late to hope for that.

Alamo
Alamo
6 months ago

What is the availability and environmental cost of materials to build an EV and compare that against the availability and environmental cost of materials to build a gas powered vehicle. Next is the cost and availability of the infrastructure needed to support EV’s vs gas powered vehicles. It is incomprehensable to see the California struggles to provide electricity and then see their mandate to increase electrical demand.

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
6 months ago

Green New Deal Fails:
NOT enough celebs drove EVs
EV costs, insurance
battery fires
No energy for EVs
No Nuclear

sue
sue
6 months ago

Drain the energy slush fund of the federal budget while draining the glut of the government. The only green they want to see is the American’s hard earned money going into their filthy pockets.

Gary
Gary
6 months ago

1600 scientists and meteorological people have signed on and said this global warming is political baloney. Yet they keep promoting the lie. Let’s hope 2024 is it for the Dem-olition party

DenvilleSr
DenvilleSr
6 months ago

Don’t come to the conclusion that the Left has given up! As states such as California legislate EV mandates, you may not want the battery pack on wheels, but you won’t be able to buy the internal combustion car you want. As we learned during COVID, facts may be created to fit the narrative and rules promulgated to make you conform to the narrative.

Texas Resister 64
Texas Resister 64
6 months ago

Several months ago I sent my classmates from ’64 a thermodynamic analysis of electric v gasoline vehicles. Nobody could refute it. You add 2-4 thermodynamically costly steps to the process from original power generation through transmission and charging to the end product and it’s just impossible to make the electric vehicle more efficient than the gasoline engine.

Rich
Rich
6 months ago

If you truly believe in “climate change” and think it is the most pressing crisis but are not concerned with what is happening right now in our world, you have too much cool-aid in your system. One nuke fired into our country or anywhere in the world will wipe out the green new deal climate change narrative. The globalists know if they can destroy our energy production our economy will be next. They are trying everything in their arsenal to destroy one of the strongest free countries in the world. If we vote the socialist/Marxists back into their seats, we will be signing our own death warrant. The clock is ticking.

ShireGuy
ShireGuy
6 months ago

I wish more Americans realized just how we are being gaslighted by our own governments. Our money is taken under threat of prison, used for policies and propaganda that is not in our best interests and then we are magnanimously offered that a portion of our own money will be returned if we buy products that only serve a tiny percentage of elitists pulling the strings.

Jake
Jake
6 months ago

Electric rates have almost doubled in Maine in the last year, from 16 cents per KWH to 30 cents per KWH – This is to support solar and wind power plus support for those that want to put solar on their homes – called net zero in Maine. Let’s keep that BS out of the rest of the states!

Donald
Donald
6 months ago

So interesting that people are not told what goes into making the windmills assuredly it’s really bad stuff. Next, when one considers all the birds killed by the mills and a good share are on the endangered species list, but where’s PETA? This organization, years ago took KFC to task – oh they cut the beaks off chickens. PETA had there heads so far up their posteriors that it was pathetic. Chickens are be beaked which is to say the tip of their beaks are cut off because chickens are canabalistic and that simply keeps them from canabalizing each other -it’s standard practice folks and it doesn’t harm the bird. Now, with all the birds being killed by mills, well PETA – oh brother where art thou? Oh, in the demorats pocket for the sake of keeping their mouths shut?

Gabe Hanzeli kent wa
Gabe Hanzeli kent wa
6 months ago

the entire man made global warming claim is a lie.

Thinking
Thinking
6 months ago

The e vehicles are a mirage from ole Joe. Nobody wants them. Out in the west we don’t have the loading stations. Distances are too short on a charge to travel long distances. I always say my extension cord is not long enough. People out here use it as a city car but not to drive across the state. We need our big pickups for that. We don’t have any convenient commuter transportation. Cars are a way of life out here. If ole Joe ever mandated to transition to e vehicles you will see a rebellion from the westerners. Plus the cost of these e cars will rise more and more. Tax rebates is no incentive when the cars cannot drive very far on a charge, the batteries last only 5 years. Plus we don’t have the tax money to pay these rebates. Or we have to stop supporting Ukraine. And live within the taxes the government receives. But under ole Joe it never is going to happen. He knows only to throw money at a problem and it fails every time.
Joe you gotta go.

Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
6 months ago

Coincidentally my 94 Ranger is acting out and not starting. I wouldn’t mind an EV if it were affordable since I mainly use the truck to drive to my dog’s favorite parks to walk in. However, the Ford is not starting because our winters get cold in Nevada and its messing with the one battery… how will a BANK do when the ONE lasts about 3-4 years here?

john
john
6 months ago

Best news all day.

Bubba D.
Bubba D.
6 months ago

I may be wrong, but I think someone said many years ago that just keep feeding the people the same ole lie and before long they will believe it as truth and go where you lead them. Reminds me of one my dad used to tell me from time to time. Like sheep to slaughter. Who do they expect to go get them out of the slaughterhouse.

;^)
;^)
6 months ago

I wish we could get over calling oil a “fossil fuel!” It’s a phrase developed to fool us into thinking that oil is LIMITED. Science (without censors) will tell you that oil is the second most plentiful liquid on earth! It has little to do with fossils.

patriot
patriot
6 months ago

GM and Ford only did (foolishly) what the tottering old fool (Bidumb) was mandating! When automobiles were invented, they were not forced on people by stupid politicians. But they quickly became a necessity along with trucks and so much more that is powered by efficient gasoline engines. Electric vehicles were popular from 1890-1912 among some rich but the same problems that exist today killed it as a viable alternative to ICE powered cars, plus it is worse today because of the Lithium batteries. Communist China our biggest adversary has or controls the most Lithium deposits in the world! But I bet China will keep their ICE powered vehicles and sell Lithium batteries to America and the rest of the Worlds dummies!  Americans need to send Bidumb back to his basement, along with all his mandates, his border mandates, “New Green Deal” and more. He is a liar and crook and so is his staff and his son. 

phoenix
phoenix
6 months ago

lo. it “transitioned” tax money into their pockets! That is all it was about, and it worked very well.

TommyD
TommyD
6 months ago

Just about everyone would love to have zero pollution and green technology………. if it actually worked reliably. There was a big “Go Green” event a year or so ago in the Pacific Northwest, and some deep pockets attended the event to learn a little and decide how much they were going to invest. Well, after arriving at a time when it had rained occasionally over the previous days, they were impressed at how well the band and large tents and hot food, etc. was running nicely. Well, once a few of these big investors found out that due to the rain, just about everything was being run on fossil fueled generators and they were told that the solar and other options they were promoting didn’t work well in the rain or during long periods of cloudiness, etc., they left without investing a dime. The article I read was written by one of those investors that had believed the hype that the government and others were throwing at us all. This shouldn’t be an argument between two sides, this should be common sense. Just about everyone would love to use green technology, if it actually worked well and was reliable. It does not and is not. Besides that, many of these products cost more and pollute more when you go back and look at the mining of its resources, how it’s produced and the footprint it leaves behind it. Fossil fuels do less damage than most of these solar and other green energy products. Call us back in a couple of decades.. “IF”, there is finally actual, reliable, cost effective green energy that can be saved/stored well, and operate in all conditions, just about everyone in the entire world would love it. What’s not to love? Meantime, stop trying to force everyone into something that doesn’t work reliably and will make billions/trillions for a handful of people, while actually costing the taxpayer more money so the governments of the world can “pay people” for buying/using these products.

Randall L. Beatty
Randall L. Beatty
6 months ago

I remember when the Edsel was out and it was a big flop. If it keeps up there will be a repeat with electric cars bad enough gas autos are getting over priced so it will be hard to afford one and used vehicles going us people in this country are just being taking to the cleaners Now that the strike is over watch and see the price of new cars and trucks take a jump in price they have to pay the new wages big win for them big loss for the general public.I live in a cold area that is bad for batteries Hope that this all comes out for us time will tell.

Rod Kuhn
Rod Kuhn
6 months ago

Nick’s comment is Perfect! In addition to the 1,600 signatures, there was a petition perhaps 20 years ago that was signed by 30,000 scientists (Over 8,000 held Doctorates). When Presidential rejects Gore and Kerry are the biggest proponents of Man-made Climate Change, you know it’s a hoax. Only Almighty God can change the climate.

Theresa Coughlin
Theresa Coughlin
6 months ago

since the Biden Administration has a ridiculous hostility against so-called fossil fuels, where is the energy needed to charge the EVs supposed to come from? Wind and solar are unreliable because the wind doesn’t always blow and the sun doesn’t always shine.

Jim
Jim
6 months ago

GM had an excellent EV hybrid, the Chevy Volt, but it couldn’t be manufactured and sold profitably. It had a 16-megawatt capacity battery that could get 35 miles or more, good for driving around town or moderate commuting. For greater distance driving It had a small 1.4L ICE that kicked on when the main battery was depleted, that drove a backup generator that powered the electric motor. The ICE could get up to 50 mpg on the highway and had a 9-gallon gas tank. Unfortunately, GM only produced the Volt from 2010-2019, apparently because it cost more to build the car (with the gas-powered backup generator capability) than they could sell it for. I have a Volt and love it because it provides the best of electric car driving with gas-powered backup electric generation versatility.

deb
deb
6 months ago

Fossil fuels are here to stay. Anyone with a brain knew from the beginning the green new deal was about as stupid as it gets. Renewable energy has its place, but it will never take over. The gov clowns are owned by the WEF and do what they are told and they are using the climate change scam to justify the world takeover.
I have solar, 24Kw battery backup and electric car Tesla Model X. Worth every penny to me, but it is not for everyone. Hopefully Trump with be in office in 2024 and will install common sense again. If you have a negative idea about Tesla, go test drive one and you’ll see why electric is better for many people.
One thing is for sure – you won’t see blue smoke from a Tesla car in front of you making you gasp for air even after 200,000 miles.

Westhus092
Westhus092
6 months ago

Actually the Elites are the ones who will use all the oil and gas for the cars of their choice and their private jets. However, for the average citizen, EVs will be mandated. The car companies are happy to let the price of gas powered vehicles increase to that of EVs and their WOKE execs can croon about saving the planet and hopefully achieve a social credit score that makes their organizations acceptable to the rest of the Elites.

Allen A
Allen A
6 months ago

EVs cause far more pollution and environmental destruction in their materials sourcing and construction than building and running a gasoline vehicle for 150,000 miles. They catch fire regularly and emit toxic fumes while burning. The fires are difficult or impossible to put out. The batteries can’t be recycled and are toxic in landfills. If an EV gets caught in high water, like in a hurricane or flash flooding from a heavy thunderstorm, it frequently catches fire and burns to a pile of ash and melted metal. Car carrying ships and ferries have been damaged or destroyed by EV fires on board. EVs are an environmental disaster and should be banned from America.

NinaRae
NinaRae
6 months ago

Everything the Democrats have tried since stealing the last election has been a disaster! They’ve destroyed our economy. Killed or injured thousands with COVID shots, allowed our nation to be overrun with third world emigrants & drug runners, to name an FEW of their disasters, and still they brag about being successful!?! Heaven help us live through their ‘success’!

David Saucier
David Saucier
6 months ago

The United Auto Workers Union recent negotiated a contract renewal with major U.S. auto manufacturers which will enrich assembly line workers for the next several years. Had they struck for superior auto quality and reliability instead, they’d have won back countless of us who’ve rejected U.S. autos for the last generation.

Sam
Sam
6 months ago

Well, DUH!

Mike L
Mike L
6 months ago

What ever happened to GM’s EV1 (electric Saturn) that came out in the 1996 – 1999? Think there were two versions, one with lead acid batteries, and the other with NiMH batteries.
Would the GM EV1 be a similar “Edsel”?

Jackie
Jackie
6 months ago

There aren’t as many sheeple as they thought, not as many mindless liberals who just believe everything any Democrat says!!! I think the American public isn’t quite as ignorant as they thought!! They thought we would all be in line at the dealerships buying up all of their electric vehicles!! I, for one, cannot afford their EVs nor the cost of the charging equipment and especially the cost of repairs!! I feel like these elite politicians and environmentalists invested in the companies that would stand to profit from the EVs!! So they started ramping up threats to the oil and gas companies, as well as the auto companies!! They decided that if they mandated the purchase of the EV that everyone would have to buy one and WOW, just look at the profits that could come rolling in BUT the American consumer isn’t quite as stupid as they thought!!!
I am not so sure about the “science” of the planet and these fanatics who want to change everything about how we run our lives today in favor of their ridiculous environmental notions!! And after Fauci and his groups of fanatics, I don’t think I can follow the science anymore!! Fauci and company ruined the ‘follow the science’ when his version of ‘science’ changed from day to day as we watched this little pipsqueak’s head got bigger and bigger along with his ego while he stood up there and lied to us!!! Why should I think that the government, the scientists and environmentalists aren’t lying to us again?????

Jerry
Jerry
6 months ago

Keep Gas cars till EV is further developed!!!

John B
John B
6 months ago

People think that we have such GREAT technology and we can do everything, they are grossly in error, I lived 100% off grid for 20 years, solar and wind, these are ok but are decades away from actual usefulness, so goes for this green technology which is just a illusion people want to maintain, solar degrades 3% per year, roof solar panels are absurd wait until you need a roof repair,wind is unstable, highly expense unequal to its costs and production costs then the replacement trash has nowhere to be dumped. EV to some extent of somewhat fine, the non lithium battery hybrid if built correctly is a good supplement but total EV are ridiculous and with poor ROI. Nuclear has too much danger attached to it. The best option still is the internal combustion engine for most reasons, at least if technology could improve mileage and ROI for the customer could be greatly increased. Our hybrid vehicle we use get 51.7 to 199.1 miles to the gallon not bullshit here!..all people have to do is to invest in the proper hybrid built ones and finally learn how to drive without the pedal to the metal

ButchDG
ButchDG
6 months ago

The political deep State socialist globalist wealthy elite tyrants have their money invested in this solar/electric crap. All based on pushing a climate warming theory, carbon HOAX! The elite stand to reap a virtual fortune forcing all of us (especially the middle class) into it. Forcing us by law into one energy source (solar/electric) is a MONOPOLY! Monopolies violate ANTI-TRUST LAWS. Why hasn’t there been any law suits? As constitutionally free Americans we should be able to FREELY choose from MANY different energy sources, at a reasonable price, NOT just ONE energy source! That’s FREEDOM! Our electric grid is old and outdated. It cannot handle all this purposed solar/electric b.s. Wake up friends! We The People Are The Government and Sovereign!
 

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