I’m having a hard time getting through HB 1049, the North Carolina House Bill that basically demonizes electric vehicle charging stations because consumers aren’t getting free fossil fuels alongside them. The bill was sponsored entirely by Republicans: Reps. Keith Kidwell, Mark Brody, George Cleveland, Donnie Loftis, and Ben Moss. It requires businesses to disclose the percentage of what they’re charging customers that is “the result of the business providing electric vehicle (EV) charging stations at no charge.” Businesses more than likely would be handing customers receipts showing 0%, given the Energy Department’s estimate that it costs just $6 for an EV with a 200-mile range and a 54kWh battery that is fully depleted to be completely recharged.
The bill also requires publicly-funded EV charging stations on state-leased or state-owned property to come with free gas and diesel pumps. The same goes for county and city property. And if anyone in those groups with EV charging stations on their property can’t adhere to those terms, the bill requires the Department of Transit to develop a system to disperse $50,000 for the sole purpose of using that money to dismantle EV charging stations. Make it make sense.
Oh, great, here’s Rep. Moss to enlighten us.
EVs are significantly better for the planet, but the energy their charging stations receive isn’t being conjured from thin air. Charging stations receive power from local grids, which aren’t exactly the cleanest in this country. According to the Energy Information Administration, 61% of electricity generation in the U.S. came from fossil fuels last year. So if dirty energy is the concern, then rest assured that we’re doing just fine in that department. Plus, it’s not like one state throwing a tantrum over charging stations is going to magically change oil and gas output. CNN’s assessment of rising gas prices includes an industry unwilling to increase production due to fears of environmental rules actually working and demand for oil and gas plummeting. The bill was filed last month and passed its first reading shortly after, so it’s certainly got a ways to go before any North Carolinians should start worrying. This should hopefully give the lawmakers who sponsored the bill enough time to get a clue and drop the legislation altogether.
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