Tea Party Traitor? Marco Rubio willing to subsidize EVs

Has Marco Rubio already spent too much time in Washington?

Rubio says he is open to subsidizing the development of electric vehicles (EVs) — and a bill introduced by fellow Senate Republican Lamar Alexander may give Rubio the opportunity to betray his Tea Party roots.

As reported by Climatewire, Alexander’s S. 948:

… provides $2 billion in grants over five years for “electric vehicle deployment communities,” each of which could receive $250 million for developing a plan to add charging stations, update building codes and train new workers. Each community has to match 20 percent of the cost.

It also provides $300 million in grants and loan guarantees to help companies transform large fleets of work vehicles into electric-powered cars and trucks. The maximum grant is $20 million, with each company paying 80 percent of the conversion cost.

Another $375 million is provided for battery research, a deployment program at the Department of Energy, and to help federal agencies buy electric cars.

Alexander introduced his bill as a palliative to the much-dreaded climate change. As he told the National Journal yesterday,

My view on climate change is of course it’s occurring. Anyone can see that. The big argument is what you do about it. … I think what you do about it is take steps.

Remember this for the future: Lamar Alexander = Al Gore.

Anyway, Rubio said,

I want the U.S. to lead the world on electric cars. How we accomplish that, I’m open to debate on it.

Climatewire reported that while Rubio wouldn’t comment directly on Alexander’s bill, he said that the question of whether the government should subsidize a specific technology has “validity.”

But Rubio states on his web site:

Floridians are concerned about the out-of-control spending in Washington that is piling up debt. Today, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says the “federal budget is on an unsustainable path.” Right now, forty cents of every dollar the federal government spends is being borrowed from future generations. This is unacceptable and a $14 trillion debt is unsustainable. We need a government that stops spending more money than it takes in.

Senator Rubio has made a commitment to Floridians to tackle this debt problem. To start cutting our spending and reduce the deficit, Senator Rubio believes that we must immediately freeze non-defense, non-veterans spending at 2008 spending levels.

So wouldn’t EV subsidies qualify as “non-defense, non-veterans spending”? Did we miss an exception he carved out for EVs?

Further and as Alexander made plain, S. 948 is also a climate change bill. But in February 2010, Rubio stated,

I don’t think there’s the scientific evidence to justify [manmade global warming]. The climate is always changing. The climate is never static.

Finally, it’s not like anyone really wants EVs anyway… GM has only sold 1,700 of the CO2-spewing Chevy Volts this year. When did Rubio convert to a central planner who sees EVs as something Americans should be driving in spite of their market-expressed disinclination?

It’s bad enough that Rubio would betray his Tea Party roots — and what got him elected in the first place — on subsidies, but betraying his clearly articulated position on global warming and dabbling in central planning makes us think that he is just another unprincipled Republican politician. Blech…

5 thoughts on “Tea Party Traitor? Marco Rubio willing to subsidize EVs”

  1. Rubio criticized “big government” and ran against big government types. I don’t remember him praising the free market to any great extent.

    The enemy of your enemy is not your friend. He may only be thinking that he has to eliminate your enemy before he can eliminate you.

  2. Hopefully something is lost in the translation. If he really means what it sounds like, maybe we should move to Texas and persuade Rick Perry to secede. If not give him the benefit of the doubt until we hear him clearer.

  3. I am going to refer to an article posted in Dallas a week back (http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2011/05/19/bill-ford-a-quarter-of-all-vehicles-electrified-by-2020/) about Bill Ford expecting a quarter of all vehicles would be electric by 2020, my comment was pretty simple, how are we going to charge ’em all?

    ——–

    We already have power shortages in the summer and winter, how are we going to charge these vehicles?

    That’s 55 (25% of 230mil) million vehicles in the US, assuming each vehicle needs a 4kWh (electric Prius has a 5kWh battery, some people drive less, some people will have larger trucks that consume more, so 4kWh is probably decent). If we had two shifts for charging, 27.5 million eastern half of the US vehicles charge for 6 hours, then the western halves 27.5 million vehicles the number would shake out like:

    4kWh / 6 = .666kW/h charge * 27.5mil vehicles -> 18,333MW for 12 hours straight.

    So, at 100% efficiency that is nearly 28 average size (667MW) coal power plants running for 12 hours at 100%

    So, I will grant that a lot of the charging will be done off peak hours, but at the same time I would be surprised if the efficiency rate for charging from the coal power plant to the car is less than 60-70%

    So it probably adds up to 20 to 28 *NEW* coal power plants we need up and running before 2020 if this vision is correct!

    Oh, Wind power, so, a 1MW wind mill, that if well placed run 35% of the time, well, you have two choices

    a) 18,333 new wind mills, but you can only go to work 35% of the time, or
    b) 52,380 new wind mills, spread out perfectly to catch the wind that has to be somewhere (right, I am laughing), and the tens/hundreds of thousands of miles of new power cables that would have to be strung. Sadly, that might get you to work on average 3 times a week. Read up on some stories how the wind generation is going in Spain and such. In 2 words – NOT GOOD.

    Let’s not even talk about the Lithium and other minerals that we would have to find new deposits of.

    Now if Thorium cycle and other advanced designs for nuclear power plants where on the table, I would be a bit more optimistic, but at this point let’s talk close to 2030, maybe ……

  4. He’s already left his promise of constitutional spending.
    You can’t cut it if you keep adding to it.
    What in the constitution gives him the right to spend taxpayer dollars on transportation systems he thinks best for us?
    Not a federal job.

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