Are electric vehicles the answer?

The “Fracking and Electric Vehicles in NC” letter in your Feb. 5 issue is another example of the black-and-white thinking that gets us nowhere as we face the daunting challenge of global energy. Mr. Beharrysingh would have us believe that fracking=bad and electric vehicle=good, and thus our state politicians are misguided in supporting one while taxing the other.  But this ignores a simple reality: The energy created by fracking fuels the electric car.

An EV is still a car — it takes energy, environmentally ravaging mining and cheap labor to produce it. Unless you have a solar farm in your backyard, when you plug in your EV you’re drawing off of a power grid fed primarily by coal and natural gas. EVs certainly have their merits, but they are hardly net zero and can be just as damaging to the environment as gasoline-powered cars.

Those who tout EVs as the environmentally friendly future of the automobile have fallen prey to the same marketing that would have us believe that organic beef is exponentially better for the environment — marginally better, yes, but we could make a bigger dent by simply eating less meat.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want fracking in my backyard! But we have been enjoying relatively cheap energy because fracking, coal mining, etc. are going on in someone’s backyard — often in poor communities where the high price tag of EVs is out of most people’s reach. These people have their noses at the “tailpipe” of the electric vehicle.

If we truly want to address the challenge of protecting our resources, our community, our neighbors, then we need to draw our attention away from the electric vs. gas debate (which is where energy investors want it) and toward options that reduce our dependence on the automobile.

— Melissa Oglesbee

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One thought on “Are electric vehicles the answer?

  1. travelah

    What are some of the viable options that would reduce our dependence on the automobile? How do people living in Haywood County get to jobs 30 miles away?

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