Roper: Green reality – ripping off the poor to subsidize the rich

By Rob Roper

VPR is doing a terrific series on state programs titled “Did It Work?” going back to see whether or not the promises put forth by government programs actually delivered. So far, they have examined three such programs, none of which met expectations. I wish I could say I was surprised.

Rob Roper

Rob Roper is the president of the Ethan Allen Institute.

One story focused on electric vehicle rebates done through the Burlington Electric Department (BED). The idea was to put more low to moderate income people into EVs and hybrids by offering an $1,800 subsidy with a lesser subsidy offered to higher income Vermonters. It’s important to note that BED was doing this in order to comply with a government mandate related to renewable energy targets. It wasn’t a customer driven business decision (except for the fact that in a state command and control economy the state, not the end user, is the customer).

In the end, three lower income people ended up getting the rebate ($5,400), as opposed to 77 higher income people who got rebates totaling nearly $80,000. Green Mountain Power (GMP) is running a larger version of the same idea and, according to VPR, 400 people claimed the rebate, just 10 percent of whom are low/moderate income.

So, did it work? Like the overwhelming majority of government programs, no, it didn’t. What the program is succeeding in doing is transferring wealth from low-moderate ratepayers to wealthy Vermonters. Thanks to reporter Henry Epp for quoting me in his article, “For the state to come along and say, ‘I’m going to tax you, Peter to put Paul in a Tesla,’ that does not seem like a just use of government power or a fair use of taxpayer funds.” It’s not under any circumstances, but especially so when Peter is poor and Paul is rich.

Rob Roper is president of the Ethan Allen Institute. Reprinted with permission from the Ethan Allen Institute Blog.

Image courtesy of Michael Bielawski/TNR

4 thoughts on “Roper: Green reality – ripping off the poor to subsidize the rich

  1. The CO2 costs of EVs have been know for years, by everyone but the left wing politicians. They save nothing and never will. — Not to mention the fact that the rare earth metals needed for the batteries are mined by slave labor. There are federal laws about using such materials, but they are laundered through other countries without such laws, and the liberals don’t mind.

  2. The whole EV craze is way overblown.
    Here is an article that explains all in great detail.


    IFO calculated making an electric vehicle and a conventional combustion engine car creates more or less the same amount of CO2 — 8.6 metric ton per car. About 4.9 ton is emitted to produce the body of a car and 1.9 ton is emitted during the assembly process, for a total of 6.8 ton.

    Moreover, IFO found that producing a diesel motor causes slightly higher emissions (0.8 ton) than making the electric motors (0.3 ton) driving the Tesla Model 3. But while the Tesla’s “additional components” account for 1.5 tons of CO2 per car, those of the Mercedes 220d account for just 1.0 ton, the study claims.

    Regarding so-called well-to-tank emissions of fossil fuels, IFO used an analysis done by the European Commission itself.
    Most significant for the comparison is the footprint of EV battery production and recycling. There, IFO used the figures provided by a 2017 Swedish study into the energy required to produce lithium-ion batteries for cars.

    • Good article Willem,
      VW got burned with diesel tampering of the computer so it’s understandable they
      would be full in the tank now on EV. They should have stayed the coarse and
      done diesel better. Good marks for Mercedes, fa-nominal difference in Liquid gas
      fired over EV. I much rather ride in a Mercedes C then a fire trap Tesla made by
      mexifornia illegals.

  3. The practical application for electric vehicles is city delivery vehicles. How many miles does a mail delivery vehicle in a city go in a day? Chinese food? Pizza? And recharge facilities are concentrated in a metropolitan area. The practicality is largely economic and simultaneously provides profitable easily monitored test vehicles for manufacturers. It has reasonably been called into question whether they do reduce the production of atmospheric carbon, but they certainly alter the geographic location of power generation byproducts, more critical in the urban environment than for vehicles operated in largely open low population density areas.

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