Dear Mr. President,
I wish to begin by saying I have nothing but the utmost respect for the office you hold. Regardless of my personal political leanings, the office you hold demands nothing but my sincere respect. Respect is something in short supply in our nation in these days. I certainly wish there was more of it being shown. But I must proceed to the purpose and subject of my letter to you, Mr. President. It concerns your plans for the production of electric vehicles in the foreseeable future versus the production of internal combustion vehicles.
I want to first say that I am glad you show much concern about this creation. It is one of God’s many gifts to us–and it carries with it great responsibility. So I commend you for wanting to take better care of His creation. This is an issue that we all should share; and I share that concern with you. And though your solution of increasing production of electric vehicles seems like a valid response on the surface, I would ask you to go deeper with this proposal.
First, let’s look at your declaration that by 2032, two-thirds of all new vehicles produced must be electric. And to force Americans and American companies to buy electric vehicles, your administration is enacting emission regulations that would make it difficult, if not impossible, for auto makers to produce internal combustion powered vehicles. Looks good on paper, doesn’t it sir? Remember I am asking you to join me in thinking deeper.
Have you, or anyone in your administration, analyzed the impact this would have on our electric grid? In some areas when demand is higher than usual, electric companies are forced to have rolling blackouts. And even when everyone puts out their best efforts, brownouts still occur. Sir, with the elimination of nuclear plants, and the significant reduction of steam plants, there appears to be an energy crisis already present. Increasing the number of at home and on the road charging stations will only serve to increase the demand on a limited electrical grid. As the old saying goes, “There’s only so much to go around!” What might happen every evening when workers arrive at home and plug in their electric vehicles? If our electric grid cannot support current usage, then how will it be able to support this increased usage?
To show you that I’m not just a complainer, I do have a positive suggestion for you, sir. Before we move to electric vehicles, let’s increase the number of steam plants for producing electricity. Technology had helped significantly reduce the emissions from coal fired generating plants. And America has an abundance of coal. And then there’s nuclear power plants. Nuclear energy was proven to be safe and efficient–and we never had to import any nuclear fuel. But if the idea of nuclear plants or coal-fired generators leaves a bad taste in your mouth, there’s natural gas. Again, we have enough natural gas to last for decades; until technology develops a better and more efficient form of energy. You see, sir, I believe strongly in American ingenuity to tackle and solve any problem this nation might face.
Let’s continue going deeper. Many Americans live in rural areas. This means that they are often an hour or more away from many essential services. Your mandate, as noble as it may appear, will create issues for us rural Americans. It is reasonable to accept that we would have to charge our electric vehicles while in town, and then charge them again once home; provided there is electricity. Sir, we face the threat of tornados, and those tornados ignore our need for electricity. They demolish the power delivery lines. It takes more than minutes to restore electricity. It will take hours, days, and sometimes weeks to restore electricity to our homes. What are we supposed to do in the meanwhile when our electric vehicles cannot be charged? Sir, it is something to ponder upon; wouldn’t you say?
And while we are on the subject of charging batteries, are you aware, sir, that 75% of all lithium batteries are produced in China? Our current levels of imported oil are small compared to this number. Add to this our recent COVID pandemic. Many goods and products were delayed in reaching our ports–causing extreme shortages in many sectors of the economy. In our recent history, we did not need to import any oil; and were exporting oil at that time. Do we, as a nation, want to be 75% dependent on any nation? Much less a nation that doesn’t like our values? Sir, an economy is never healthy when 75% of needed goods MUST come from another nation.
And let’s go one step deeper with batteries. Where will the lithium come from? The majority of lithium reserves are in other countries. While we currently have the capacity to be self-reliant on oil for a time, we do not have the reserves to be self-reliant in relation to lithium. Currently lithium is also used for batteries in a myriad of everyday items; lights, laptop computers, tablets, phones, and other items. Sir, it does appear to be a very reasonable assertion that lithium batteries are not the quick-fix it appears to be, and it’s certainly not a long range solution.
Sir, before we begin increased production of electric vehicles, let first develop the technology and infrastructure that will sustain them. Then, let’s develop the vehicles at an affordable cost to the vast majority of Americans. And remember my earlier comment about “rural America”? Farming equipment that operates on electricity will fail to work. Many farmers work thousands of acres. Electric tractors and harvest equipment will not be feasible. So, let’s turn American Ingenuity on and allow the creative thinkers to come up with solutions for the future. Because, quite frankly, sir, your solution is a failure.
Randy Burbank, American.