Editorial: Biden arrives to save planet tied to tracks

Image of a new Lexus electric car.

Column By John Young

Today’s question: How do you pronounce “Curses!” in Texan?

Two syllables or three?

Whatever. Some stove-piped hatters in an industry group nominally identified with Texas will curse out loud at some good tidings I now share:

Electric cars are catching up with gasoline-powered cars in price. Demand is soaring.

Indeed, with federal tax credits and incentives to dramatically improve battery technology, EV sticker prices quickly are closing the gap on their grime-coughing peers.

All told, New York Times reports that relative “price parity” between the two types of vehicles could arrive this year. For this, much credit goes to President Biden, Democrats in Congress, and the climate bill they passed last year.

It surely had the Snidely Whiplashes at the Texas Public Policy Foundation cranking at their mustaches.

Actually, the name is almost comically misleading. It sounds so academic, so rooted in the land of Crockett and Austin and Tom Landry. But it’s a lobby group, a stalking horse for Big Energy far and wide, a hit squad to go after green projects anywhere and to boost things that pollute.

The Times last year reported on how the nicely suited agitators of the foundation ventured far from Texas’ plains and piney woods.

They sued, for instance, to block a wind farm off the Massachusetts coast.

They availed their industry-pumped war chest to fight for a mammoth coal-fired power plant in Arizona.

They fought limits on fracking in Colorado.

They crafted what Texas and a few other states have adopted as “energy boycott” laws to punish institutions that scale back their investments in fossil fuels.

If there’s anything that links these people to the soil of the homeland, it’s misinformation spread like manure.

With online videos, regular appearances on “Fox & Friends” and more, the group has “sought to convince lawmakers and the public that a transition away from oil, gas, and coal would harm Americans,” reports The Times.

Well, Americans by and large aren’t buying it. More and more are buying EVs, installing solar, and supporting green policies.

Most importantly, in 2020 they elected a president who knows and promotes the truth.

I’m not on its mailing list, but you can be certain the Texas Public Policy Foundation denounced the Biden climate bill with its incentives for electric car technology and more.

Since when did tax dollars subsidize America’s energy choices – except every day since, oh, the discovery of oil?

Many years ago, Texas seriously discussed a rapid rail system along the I-35 corridor.

Except: Lawmakers weren’t serious. Authorization was contingent on not spending new tax dollars.

What a joke. How many tax dollars go into overstressed highways? How much funding to airports? How much goes to idle oil wells?

How much to mitigate the pollution from all of the above?

To be sure, we subsidize Americans’ energy and transportation choices.

So, yes, under Biden and the Democrats, we are investing in a cleaner energy future. It’s not good for Big Energy. But that’s not bad.

No one could be so naïve as to assume that oil and natural gas won’t be in considerable demand for generations to come. They will.

Cadillac Celestiq electric car.

Undoubtedly coal will have its market as well, although American consumers and utilities have turned their backs on it by and large.

Whatever the demand and whatever the supply, greener policies conserve finite resources, improve our environment, and most importantly, extend the life of this planet.

“Fox & Friends” can be convinced that climate change is a Chinese hoax. (“Caller, Line 1, from Mar-a-Lago.”) But pollution unto itself is a threat to every living thing.

So on behalf of breathers everywhere, I say to the mustachioed schemers at the Texas Public Policy Foundation:

Up your nose with a rubber hose (attached to an EV charger near you).

We will not allow you to consign our beauteous planet, our damsel in distress, to a premature ending.

Longtime newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. Email him at jyoungcolumn@gmail.com.

The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author.