For those of you who have seen Who Killed The Electric Car you already know that the EV1 was made because of the California Zero Emission Mandate tht called for each car maker to make a certain number of electric cars. The car companies sued the state of California and had the mandate repealed, and the cars were destroyed.
It’s been about 5 years since EV proponents stood here and unsuccessfully pleaded with this board to keep the original ZEV program numbers for electric cars. So what has happened in those 5 years?
According to the World Health Organization, tens of thousands of Americans died as a result of auto related pollution in each one of those 5 years.
Since 2003, the US has spent over a trillion dollars for foreign oil. The burn rate is well over a billion dollars a day and climbing fast.
The price of gas 5 years ago was $1.40. It’s now $4.00. Even the oil industry has agreed that peak oil will occur within the coming decade. Bush’s multiple entreaties to the Saudis over the past three months to increase production have all been denied. In times of both record prices and record demand for oil, the only possible reason that the Saudis will not increase production is because they cannot. According to Matthew Simmons in, “Twilight In the Desert”, if the Saudis have peaked, the globe has peaked.
We’ve spent close to a trillion dollars fighting a war in Iraq, and we all know we’re there because of the oil under their ground. The Chinese are buying oil contracts all over the world with the intent to lock up as much of this resource as possible for their own growing needs.
Over the past 5 years, the scientific evidence of climate change has become widely accepted, and according to NASA’s James Hansen, we are rapidly approaching a tipping point, after which, we cannot stop significant climate change.
If 100% of the vehicles sold every year were ZEVs, it would still take over 20 years to convert the American fleet to zero emission. The auto industry sold about 85 million vehicles in the US over the past 5 years. Not one of those vehicles was Zero Emission.
Carmakers say they cannot build EVs fast enough to meet the goals in the current regulation, but I’ll remind you that in 1941, the entire auto industry switched inside of 12 months to making tanks and planes for the war effort. I submit that the problems we are facing today are every bit as crucial as then.
The consequences of delaying implementation of ZEVs, means more Americans will die from pollution, we will move closer to the devastating tipping point of climate change, and more billions of our dollars will go out of the country, with much of that money going to buy the bombs and the bullets that will kill our soldiers.
The decision you are making today is historic. Whether you choose to continue down the hydrogen highway on the hopes that fuel cells will solve these problems is a huge gamble. The clock is ticking, however, and I’ll remind you that the capital you are using in this gamble is the environment, our national security and human lives.
I ask that you please vote with this in mind.