Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is a Rhode Scholar and Harvard University graduate. For all that mental horsepower, however, he keeps making the same mistake. It started a year ago when he said that Keystone Pipeline workers who had lost their jobs because of President Biden’s energy policies should just get another union job. Such a statement shows a failure to understand the human element involved when someone loses their job, which is ranked one of the top three psychologically impactful life changes.
Mayor Pete followed up with another tone-deaf public statement when gas prices started to rise. The United States is experiencing the highest gas prices in its history. The media has been trying to provide political cover for President Biden by linking Putin’s invasion of Ukraine to higher gas prices. The only challenge with this is that prices hit historic highs before the conflict began. In response to the crisis the Secretary put out this statement:
An electric car can cost $50,000 so it is hard to see how this is a solution for lower wage earners. It also ignores how electricity is generated in this country. Windmills and Solar power account for approximately 20% of the nation’s energy. Traditional fossil fuels make up all the shortfall.
Electric cars are not zero emission alternatives, given coal and oil produces the energy they need. So, the price of electricity is sure to rise as energy costs rise regardless of whether or not Buttigieg’s callous advice is taken by Americans. There are only 2.3 million electric cars in the United States. To put that number in perspective, there are 285 million cars registered in the United States. Even if Americans could switch to electric, the power grid is not prepared to handle it.
As the energy crisis worsens, Buttigieg has put his foot in his mouth again.
There is a saying that when you are a hammer, all you see are nails. When you are a green new deal proponent, renewables and public transportation solve every problem. This ignores the realities on the ground. Available renewable energy cannot currently meet all our needs and you cannot reverse 70 years of building the economy around the individual car. Most people would be hard pressed to name the last three Transportation Secretaries, but Buttigieg is making himself memorable for all the wrong reasons.