For those who profess the belief that a great “energy transition” is underway, Tesla is the talisman. And why not? No single product that we use in everyday life consumes more energy than a car. The furnace in the average home basement is a distant second, and there are far more cars than homes. The car, with its ubiquity and importance, epitomizes how and why energy is used everywhere. It also epitomizes just how difficult and expensive it will be, and just how long it will take, to see any grand “energy transition” away from fossil fuels, regardless of politicians’ promises, and regardless of the outcome of the Nov. 3 election.
Consider California, the self-appointed leader of a world in transition, and its plans to accelerate the charge to the “new energy” future. Last month, California’s governor made the bold move of banning the sale of internal combustion engines by 2035, requiring that only electric cars be sold. The Democratic Party’s platform is slightly more diplomatic, promising to “ensure” that 100% of new car sales are electric.
Mark P. Mills is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute; a partner in Cottonwood Venture Partners, an energy-tech venture fund; and the author of the recent report “Mines, Minerals and ‘Green’ Energy: A Reality Check.”
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