By Robert Williams


When it comes to energy regulating policies, one can typically look to California to see what kind of nonsense is on the horizon for the Midwest.

The state’s clean-air regulators introduced a plan last week to ramp up the sale of electric and zero-emissions vehicles, while phasing out the sale of new gasoline-fueled vehicles by 2035.

The proposal would require 35 percent of new vehicle sales to be powered by batteries or hydrogen by 2026, and 100 percent of sales to be net-zero emissions by the end of the next decade.

A vote is scheduled on the proposal in August.

There are 15 other states who have adopted California’s strict automobile standard policies, including Minnesota. 

Gov. Tim Walz is in full support of tightening up regulations and it extends beyond cars to cleaner fuel regulations and the list goes on and on with obtuse and overused buzzwords from greenhouse gas emissions to climate change.

With the first heat wave of the season upon us, one of the major stories in the Midwest this week is rolling blackouts. They happened in 15 states around Minnesota last weekend. Apparently, the electrical grid is already overtaxed, double entendre intended. 

Part of that problem is the retiring of old-world energy plants.

There are many tangents connecting the Biden administration’s push to make everyone drive a Matchbox car on top of a huge pile of batteries that it is difficult pondering where to begin.

For me, the first thought goes straight to the end cost of such enacted policies on the average Minnesotan. For most of us, that is saving money, like a few bucks at the pump.

Part of Biden’s plan is to spend $15 billion to build half-a-million electric vehicle charging stations, plus an additional $26 billion for supporting infrastructure.

We’re already out of the realm of the average Minnesotan’s pecuniary perspective. Furthermore, the basic cost of simply purchasing an electric vehicle is outside that realm.

Coal and gas production have been on the decline the past decade, however, it is still widely used and needed. Sun and wind simply are not going to replace that output under current technology.

There is also the fact that wind and solar power generation requires massive government assistance.

The cost to offset coal and gas with wind and solar is off the charts, then add in the billions to get to levels needed to offset the future growth needed to power all those little Matchbox cars.

I think the idea of electric vehicles is fine, once there is an infrastructure to actually power and sustain their usage. Just saying we’re all going to switch over and everything will work out is just typical governmental rhetoric.

There is also the giant elephant in the room. 

That being the individual’s choice to actually want to purchase an EV.

Count me out, but I barely count.

I’m a four-cylinder, turbocharged hatchback driver. My car gets decent mileage, has a manual transmission, still uses a key and is fast; that’s what matters to me. For a much larger base of Minnesota drivers, their vehicle of choice are trucks.

Governor Walz does have a more sane proposal compared to California. Walz wants 20 percent of all Minnesota vehicles to be electric by 2030.

Have at it, 20 percenters!

I’d love to see someone from the government walk up to a group of good ol’ boys, and girls, and tell them to replace their three-quarter ton diesel with an electric truck.

Good luck with all that.

However, if the state government wants all of us to own one so bad, I have an idea.

There is a little stockpile down in St. Paul, namely a $9.25 billion budget surplus, plus another billion in federal cash from Biden’s American Rescue Plan.

I’ll take a Porsche Taycan.