Opponents of the transportation carbon cycle – in which we pull carbon from the ground in the form of fossil fuels and put it into the air in the form of exhaust from mechanized transport – tend to justify their advocacy with appeals to the oft-refuted "greenhouse" theory of “climate change.” (Of course, if the climate cultists really still believed in the “greenhouse” theory, we still would be calling it “global warming.”) But there's another cycle which should worry us more, one that is real, deleterious to our freedom and prosperity, and causing geopolitical centers of gravity to rearrange to America's detriment.
As part of the Inflation Reduction Act (shouldn't that name be considered disinformation?), President Biden created a tax credit for American car manufacturers of E.V. battery packs. This subsidy was pegged by the CBO to cost $30.6 billion over ten years. Industry analysts now estimate this credit (a hole in the tax revenue the middle class will be taxed to fill) at $136B, and being worth up to $5,500 per new vehicle to the manufacturers.
Of what are these batteries made? Lithium, a particularly toxic substance. Interestingly,
GM announced plans to invest $650 million in a Nevada lithium mine, operated by Lithium Americas, a firm whose largest shareholder has ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
E.V.s are not particularly popular, hence the subsidy. Overlooked in the transportation cycle (and so the car repair/replacement decisions of insurance companies after an accident) is the impact of car crashes, of which in America, 5,250,837 happen over the course of a year. No, not the fires that can’t be put out until the vehicle is a total loss and your house burned to the ground, but minor fender-benders in which the very expensive, highly subsidized, environmentally catastrophic battery pack is scratched. Although many E.V. manufacturers continue to insist that "their battery packs were repairable" in such situations, "many are unwilling to share key data with third-party insurers to help assess damage."
This leads to repairable packs becoming a total loss and the manufacturer gaining a subsidy for the new battery pack that isn’t gained if the data is shared and the battery pack repaired. If that E.V. is totaled by the insurance company before it has traveled very far, the entire purpose of the E.V. fails, because you’ll need to drive "13,500 miles (21,725 km) before you're doing less harm to the environment than a gas-guzzling [car]."
Although lithium ion (LI) battery packs can be recycled, only 12 percent of them seem to be in the E.U., the highest-performer at this point, and only 40 percent of the total battery materials can be recycled under current schemes. In ten years, the vast majority of LI batteries wind up in the ground. Even those with only a scratch.
Which is to say, we are subsidizing car manufacturers to make new LI batteries who are incentivized not to make available information that could result in repairing existing batteries, resulting in the production of new batteries, more subsidies, more batteries in landfills, and -- don't forget -- more mining revenue to the C.C.P.
This is a far more-damaging cycle than a bit of CO2 in the air. Cui bono?