REP. RANDY WEBER: First They Came For The Plastic Straws. Now Climate Alarmists Are Targeting America’s Iconic Cars

Rep. Randy Weber Contributor
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The radical left’s all-encompassing climate alarmist onslaught has claimed numerous victims over the past decade: plastic straws gave way to soggy paper replacements, and Alaska’s vast subterranean oil reserves remain mostly untapped in favor of energy dependency on geopolitical enemies.

Even more recently, the Biden administration has proposed a crackdown on household mainstays as innocuous as dishwashers and gas stoves. Now, they’re coming for our internal combustion engine cars, now cleverly referred to as ICE vehicles, the mechanical descendants of the first cars manufactured in our own country a century ago. The left will stop at nothing to tear down the legacy of our American forefathers. 

House Republicans recently passed legislation that struck down California’s draconian electric vehicle mandate, which required that all new cars sold must be emission-free starting in 2035. Unfortunately, the GOP bill is highly unlikely to survive the president’s veto, and given the growing epidemic of climate alarmism, similar bans — whether for cars or common household items — are all but inevitable in the near future.  

To promote the ubiquity of electric vehicles, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm road-tripped across the southeast with a fleet of electric vehicles (EVs). In typical Biden administration fashion, this exhibition included an embarrassing blunder that unintentionally underscored a real problem. Given the scarcity of EV-friendly infrastructure, a massive line at a charging port resulted in a PR nightmare. A family with a baby found themselves stranded inside their car in the sweltering heat because Granholm’s advance team was “reserving a spot” for the secretary’s arrival. Ironically, although the excursion’s goal was to advertise the accessibility and utility of EVs, some of the backup and security vehicles driven by her entourage were good old fashioned ICEs.

Americans don’t want an electric car mandate, and to impose one by force would be a disaster. To take gas cars off the road would cause an infrastructure apocalypse and a gaping job dearth. 

If it wasn’t clear enough that proponents of President Biden’s woke climate agenda are either ignorant or acting in bad faith, let’s examine the hypothetical efficacy of the EV mandate. Considering the vast resources and exotic metals needed to manufacture electric cars, it is unclear whether the tradeoff is truly more beneficial for the environment. A major component of electric car batteries, cobalt, comes primarily from Congolese mines, havens for brutality and child slavery. The widespread scaling of electric car production would only exacerbate the well-documented humanitarian abuses in the Democratic Republic of Congo while depleting the planet’s finite stores of the raw material. Ask your virtue-signaling neighbor about the cobalt mines. 

Importing essential materials for EVs would also mean greater dependence on foreign countries for continued high quality of life. But it doesn’t have to be this way. The United States possesses the natural resources necessary to attain energy independence, sustaining our economy with good jobs while ensuring a secure supply of domestic fuel in times of international turmoil. 

Ultimately, the desire to transition from dependable gasoline-powered cars to unreliable electric vehicles is just another page in the left’s book: “How to Destroy America.” They hate the classic American aesthetic and lifestyle and want to hamstring the country in a multitude of ways as they continue their vicious cycle of virtue-signaling. 

Randy Weber is a Republican congressman representing the 14th District of Texas in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller.