Fossil Fuel lobbies are trying (again) to kill electric cars

From ToxicLeaks

Fossil fuel corporations like the Koch brothers have won the last battle against the electric car. The General Motors EV1 was launched in the 1990's but never got off the ground, nipped in the bud by a merciless campaign. The rise of sustainable transportation has thus been delayed almost 20 years because of fossil-fuel companies. But now the electric car is back and once again, the oil corporations are poised to open unlimited fire to prevent its development. The Koch brothers are preparing a plan to take down electric cars with their vicious strategies. They must be opposed.

A multi-million dollar campaign to kill electric cars[edit | edit source]

The Huffington Post reveals that the Koch brothers, notorious fossil fuel lobbyists, are marshalling allies to launch a plan to take down the electric car industry. They have approached refining companies like Valero Energy and Tesoro Corp to team up in this plan against electric cars. James Mahoney, a confidante of the Koch brothers, also presented this plan during a retreat organised for big donors in California, after moderating a seminar on the topic “Changing the Energy Narrative”. The goal of this plan, according to energy industry sources, is to build a $10 million a year campaign to “make the public aware of all the benefits of petroleum-based transportation fuels”. Will they include in their campaign flyers that thanks to fossil-fuel based transportation, the temperature will be nice and toasty for everyone ? Probably not. Sources also contend that the plan will aim to fight the “bias” of the current administration towards phasing out fossil-fuels. This is just despicable. Listening to the alarm raised by scientists worldwide is probably the most unbiased way a government can define its policy ! Anyway, the plan should be a massive promotion of fossil fuels but also an all-out attack against electric cars and the subsidies that have recently been decided to encourage the transition toward sustainable transportation. As if fossil-fuel companies weren't getting massive and increasing subsidies from the US government ! Renewable energies are far from getting as many !

A strategy to defend the fossil-fuel model and the huge profits it generates[edit | edit source]

Of course, none of this has anything to do with the common good, this is only the fossil fuel industry defending what it perceives as its own turf. Indeed, fossil fuels generate a big part of the $115 billion revenue of Koch Industries, and if electric cars were to develop, it would mean less oil consumption and less revenue for that corporation. The same goes for the refiners that the Koch brothers are currently wooing for their communication plan. And these fat oil companies are starting to worry about the rise of electric cars. According to analysts, while electric vehicles represent only 1% of the US market today, they could represent around 5 % as soon as 2025. Varun Sivaram, from the Council on Foreign Relations shares this analysis : “Electric vehicle adoption started slowly, but it certainly is going to follow an exponential growth trajectory.” This is why this plan will try to bolster public confidence in oil powered cars and attack subsidies that are helping to spur the growth of the electric car sector. And the Koch brothers don't care that this transition is the only possible way for the United States to decrease carbon emissions before it's too late and the global temperature rises beyond the point of no return. Blinded by greed, they will fight tooth and nail to make sure Americans continue to swim in fossil fuels, even if it kills them.

One more vicious move by notorious Koch brothers[edit | edit source]

This is consistent with the appalling track record of the Koch brothers, when it comes to fighting against environmental policy. In 2010 they had already joined forces with Tesoro and Valero to combat California's 2006 global warming solutions law. These three fossil fuel corporations funded a campaign to vote for Proposition 23, a ballot proposition that would have suspended the measures of the 2006 law until the unemployment rate fell from the current rate of 12.4% down to 5.5 %. Koch brothers and their allies funded rallies, trained tea-party activists, provided false data to support climate change denial. Together, the three companies invested almost $10 million. Yeah invested because funding that campaign wasn't about philanthropy or being good citizens. It was about business, for Koch Industries, Tesoro and Valero stood to lose a lot of money if the law wasn't overturned. A defender of the 2006 law, Steve Maviglio, expressed the disgust he rightly felt for these tactics : "If you combined BP’s approach to safety with Enron’s greed, you would have Koch. (…) With this contribution, the out-of-state oil companies trying to put their profits before California jobs just got a lot dirtier." However, their strategy failed and the proposition 23 was rejected. The Koch brothers have also been fighting renewable energies with all their might.

In Florida, Koch brothers, Gulf Power and Duke Energy have been the main donors behind the 2010 state campaigns for governor and State House of Representatives. And the Republican legislature that consequently won the elections has honoured its part of the deal and destroyed the environmental laws of Florida, for instance it has made it near impossible for citizens to purchase solar panels ! The people of the “Sunshine State” have rebelled against these dirty laws and in 2016, an initiative on the ballot called “Floridians for Solar Choice”, that will suggest making it easier to install solar panels and enjoy Florida's tremendous solar energy potential. However, the Koch brothers have yet again tried to block this initiative by launching another one, that would keep solar panel under the control of utilities, in other words themselves. This initiative is officially led by a grassroot group called “Consumers for Smart Solar” but actually it's a complete scam ! The group was entirely funded and brought together by the Koch brothers, in an attempt to give the impression that the project was coming from citizens and not big business. That has to be one of the most twisted strategies a company could use but sadly, it's quite commonplace and many environmental policies fall prey to these artificial, big corporation funded, so called “grassroot movements”.

Once again, one of the worst fossil-fuel champions in the United States, Koch Industries, is on the warpath to kill electric cars. The one thing we can agree with the Koch brothers about is that yes, they are in danger. The energy transition is on its way, and once it has developed it will make all fossil-fuel related activities look like stone age technologies. Which is why instead of fighting climate change and the necessary economic transition we must follow, they should embrace it, and spend those billions of dollars to make things better. However, as fossil-fuel corporations are as short-sighted as they are greedy, this will not happen. And we will have to fight Koch brothers and all those who seek to undermine environmental policies.