Let Free Market Handle Transition from Fossil Fuels

An electric car charging An electric car charging in California


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To the Editor:

The following is a response to an Op-Ed published on Sept. 14 by CT Mirror.

The piece written by two Board Members of the lobbying group People’s Action for Clean Action demands a common sense, point-by-point response to their claim that Connecticut, a sovereign state, should be bound by the actions of California in the use of carbon-based fuels.  In addition to this proposed, unconstitutional breach of federalism, the authors are attempting to fight the common sense of the free market via a government-knows-best approach.   That concept of top-down dictates failed miserably in the Soviet Union, and will ultimately fail in this debate by dramatically reducing the quality of life for all if enacted as the government proposes.

The authors cite other states and auto manufacturer General Motors as reasons to join the EV club.  I’m sorry, but in order for me to change my behavior, I will need substantive reasons for changing, NOT the old adage that I should follow the leader, much less a tax-payer subsidized leader. 

The authors then state that all gas cars will not be banned under proposed legislation that Connecticut follow California’s “clean air” mandates, but that sales of new cars by manufacturers would be banned.  If a manufacturer is banned from selling, then that is a de facto ban of sales to dealers and individuals, thus eradicating the opportunity for individual choice and the free market to drive future innovations.

While acknowledging the inadequacies of our current electrical grid for accommodating EV charging on a broader scale, what is left out of the discussion is that a significant majority of our electrical production is petroleum based.  Regardless of all the green new dreams the authors and their supporters concoct, wind and solar are NEVER going to be able to replicate the instantaneous, and reliable capabilities of the system in place.  Their arguments would go much further if in the process they included an expansion of nuclear power.  Given the US’s 70+ years of experience with nuclear power generation (US Navy submarines and surface ships), there are certainly many opportunities to bring nuke power online for emission-free electrical generation.

Writing from the comfortable positions of retirement and lives made easy thanks to petroleum generated power, the authors have forgotten that those that are at the lower tiers of the economic scale will either lose significant ground in this fantasy of an EV transition, or will require significant subsidized support from the upper tiers – all funneled through a system driven by elected officials and bureaucrats.  These officials have no problems with making decisions that are often wrong, leaving the taxpayer on the hook for their mistakes.  The best solution is to leave the free market in place.

Robert Ham
Cheshire, CT

For the record, Ham tells CT Examiner he drives a hybrid Ford Fusion auto