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Biden responsible for Jeep's Belvidere plant closing?

The Dems push for EV vehicles is pretty ridiculous.

  • EV cars create a larger carbon footprint to produce. It takes 3-5 years of operation before they become more "green".

  • There is nowhere near enough Lithium available in the world to create the batteries necessary for all these cars. The mineral is principally found in China and the Donbas now controlled by Putin. Great being dependent on "friends".

  • Giving huge $7,500 to subsidize wealthy people seems imprudent. The middle class and especially the poor, don't have the funds to buy EV cars

So indirectly, the argument can be made that Biden and the Dems are hurting a lot of people in a lot of industries getting crowded out by our running away from fossil fuels (while China and India, the world's largest polluters, exponentially ramp up their emissions).

All Biden’s Green Job Losers

Climate industrial policy is costing 1,350 workers their jobs at a Stellantis plant in Illinois.

By The Editorial Board, WSJ

Dec. 12, 2022 6:45 pm ET

The Stellantis Jeep vehicles are loaded for shipment to dealers at the assembly plant in Belvidere, Ill., Dec. 12.

President Biden sold the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) as a giant climate jobs program, but then how does he explain what happened Friday at the StellantisJeep Cherokee plant in Belvidere, Illinois? Some 1,350 workers are losing their jobs so the auto maker can finance its government-mandated and subsidized electric-vehicle expansion.

Stellantis broke the news to workers on Friday that it will idle the Cherokee plant in February, citing “the increasing cost related to the electrification of the automotive market.” Merry Christmas! The Jeep Cherokee has been a popular model, though the plant has cut shifts since 2019.

But Stellantis, which formed through the merger of France’s PSA Group and Italian-American Fiat Chrysler, needs to come up with money to finance the more than $35 billion that it plans to invest in EVs over the next few years. Government industrial policy doesn’t give the company much of a choice.

Europe and several U.S. states have announced plans to ban the sale of new internal-combustion engine vehicles by 2035. Stellantis spent $2.4 billion to buy regulatory credits from Tesla between 2019 and 2021 to comply with green mandates. The Biden fuel economy mandates could force it to spend more unless it ramps up EV production.

The Inflation Reduction Act’s generous credits for battery production and EV buyers are modestly easing the costs of this government-forced transition. Many auto makers currently use profits from gas-powered SUVs and trucks to subsidize EVs that are losing money. They hope that sweetened government subsidies will eventually make EVs profitable, but in the meantime companies need to choose where to make investments and where to cut back.

Liberals pretend that the transition to EVs won’t come at a cost to workers or businesses. But taxpayers won’t foot the entire bill, which could cost hundreds of billions of dollars industrywide. Workers at Stellantis’s Cherokee plant are the collateral damage of this government-forced reallocation of capital. We’re waiting for Sens. Sherrod Brown and Bernie Sanders to plead for the workers here.

The United Auto Workers is denouncing Stellantis for laying off workers. “Not allocating new product to plants like Belvidere is unacceptable,” UAW President Ray Curry said. What did he expect? The union backed stricter fuel economy mandates and the IRA subsidies, even though its own studies showed the shift to EVs could cost 35,000 jobs.

Technological change disrupts markets and leads to some job gains and losses. But the problem here is that government is overriding market forces and picking the winners and losers. Auto makers’ enormous investments in EVs are largely being driven by political choices, not consumer choice. Politicians in Washington and state capitals, not business owners or executives, are calling the shots.

Labor dislocations caused by government climate subsidies and mandates will play out across the economy in the coming years. At least in the current tight labor market, most workers who lose their jobs can probably find new ones, though they may be lower-paying or require moving. But when government picks winners and losers, there are almost always more of the latter. The politicians don’t tell you about those.

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