Joanna Miller, a Former Senior Policy Analyst at the White House
UPDATED 7:51 AM PT – Friday, September 16, 2022
Over the past decade, the left has waged war against internal combustion engine vehicles, otherwise known as gasoline-powered vehicles, to push a “green energy” transition invoking cars that run solely on electricity, or electric vehicles (EVs). Joe Biden has done everything possible to support EV manufacturing and manufacturing of key components that go into them through the Defense Production Act and federal tax incentives—particularly for those that are domestically produced. However, Biden has simultaneously attempted to destroy U.S. oil and natural gas energy production to increase EV production by cancelling 10,000 Keystone Pipeline jobs, increasing America’s oil dependence on Communist countries, and banning new drilling lease sales on federal lands, threatening millions of American jobs, national security, and our energy independence. Demand for EVs in America and globally truly is increasing—however, cancelling vital American defense industrial base jobs is detrimental for U.S. economic and national security, particularly because the U.S. EV industry must continue to become more affordable and sustainable to meet the needs of American families. A message to Joe Biden: America can and should dominate in both gas-powered and EV industries.
America Depends on U.S. Oil and Gas Production
According to the latest available data, refined and crude petroleum are the United States’ two largest exports at $58.4 billion and $52.3 billion annually. The U.S. is the world’s largest oil producer, and the world’s largest combustion engine producer. Oil and gas production supports over 11 million jobs in the U.S., while combustion engine manufacturing supports at least 600,000 jobs in the U.S. In addition, despite Biden’s efforts to strangle the oil and gas industry, domestic oil and gas consumption is still steadily increasing by millions of gallons per day. Crude oil consumption is predicted to increase to 20.80 million barrels per day by 2023 from 19.78 million barrels per day in 2021. Not to mention, the U.S. military is the largest institutional consumer of oil in the world, using oil to power ships, vehicles, aircrafts, and ground operations, consuming 100 million barrels annually.
In addition, approximately 99% of automobiles currently driven in America are powered by gasoline. This is largely because EVs are not yet affordable for the average American family and are not able to travel long distances before having to be recharged. For example, the average price of an EV is approximately $66,000 in the U.S., and usually can only operate for approximately 200 and 250 miles before needing to be recharged. Gasoline-powered cars currently cost approximately $48,000, and can last up to 400 miles before needing to be refueled. If environmentalists prematurely force a transition to EVs by cancelling oil and gas jobs before EV technology can adequately compete with gasoline-powered automobiles, American energy dominance and national security is at risk.
America Cannot Let China Dominate Another Key Industry
China is already vastly ahead of the rest of the world when it comes to producing EVs and EV batteries. In 2021, China sold more EVs than any other country combined in 2020. China currently produces nearly 80% of the world’s EV batteries, and 40% of the world’s largest EV manufacturers are located in China. This largely is due to hefty EV subsidies provided to manufacturers by the Chinese government. The U.S. produces only a mere 6% of global capacity for EVs. China has also dominated precursor material manufacturing for EVs, producing approximately 70% of the world’s refined cobalt, 64% of silicon materials, over 60% of battery cathodes and 80% of all battery anodes.
However, demand for EVs is on the rise: EV sales in the U.S. are predicted to reach nearly 30% of all new car sales in 2030, compared to just 3% in 2021. EVs are beneficial to the U.S. military, because they do not require hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil daily, which need to be shipped and stored over thousands of miles near our military bases, and are whisper-quiet, making them easier to conceal from our enemies on the battlefield. If the U.S. does not shore up supply chains for EV precursor materials and EV batteries, America’s defense industrial base will have no choice but to depend on China in order to explore these newer technologies.
U.S. Dominance in Gas-Powered and EV Manufacturing Is Good for Economic and National Security
President Trump was the first president in our nation’s history who supported both domestic gasoline-powered and EV manufacturing, because he saw both as a boon for economic and national security. While President Trump made America the number one oil producer in the world, but also ensured America’s EV market would continue to grow and flourish as seen by the Lordstown Motors and LG Chem joint venture in 2020. In addition, President Trump incentivized domestic production of critical minerals which serve as precursor materials not just for EV batteries, but jet propulsion engines, next-generation semiconductors, and other military technologies. Because of President Trump’s efforts, companies like Westwin Elements—an Oklahoma-based company which is building the first-ever major cobalt refinery in the U.S.—have been inspired to lead the charge on bringing critical mineral production back home.
In short, conservatives should not shy away from America growing and improving its domestic EV manufacturing capacity in pursuit of surpassing China and the incentives the federal government has created for companies to do so, because American dominance in both industries is nothing but a win for economic and national security. However, Joe Biden and the Democrat Party should by no means be cancelling crucial oil and gas jobs which support the vast majority of vehicles operated by American families and the U.S. military, before EV technology is affordable, reliable, and sustainable.
(Views expressed by guest commentators may not reflect the views of OAN or its affiliates.)