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STEPHEN MOORE: Biden Promised To Build Half A Million EV Charging Stations. So far, There Are A Grand Total Of 8

The Biden administration has spent tens of billions of dollars on green energy and yet last year the U.S. and the world used record amounts of fossil fuels.

That would seem to be prima facie evidence that this “great transition” to renewable energy has so far been an expensive policy belly flop.(RELATED: STEPHEN MOORE: It’s ‘Green’ Because It Takes Your Money And Mine)

The evidence is everywhere. Americans aren’t buying EVs anymore than they were before Biden was elected. The car companies even with record federal subsidies are losing billions of dollars making EVs that people don’t want. Wind and solar still account for less than 15% of American energy, and across the country hundreds of communities are saying “not in my backyard” to ugly and spacious solar and wind farms. And of course gas prices at the pump and electric bills are 30% to 50% higher, even though we were promised that the green revolution would save us money.

A case in point is the scandalous mismanagement of how these green energy programs are being implemented. Consider the $7.5 billion federal program stuck inside the Biden 2021 Infrastructure bill — a law that Biden touts as one of his great achievements. That bill promised half a million EV charging stations installed all over the country.

Instead, there have been a grand total of… drum roll please…”seven or eight installed.” To be fair, that was through last month. They might be up to nine now.

When Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg was confronted recently on CBS’s “Face the Nation” about what happened with all the money, he hemmed and hawed and replied: “In order to do a charger, it’s more than just plunking a small device into the ground, there’s utility work, and this is also, really, a new category of federal investment.”

Uh huh! Sure. Installing an electric charger for a Tesla in your garage is very complicated business. It’s like trying to Build the Taj Mahal (which may not have cost $7.5 billion).

Here’s another mystery. Why can’t Pete give us an exact count on the progress when the number is small enough to use his fingers?  What is for sure is that at this pace they may get 500 built by 2030 — not the 500,000 promised.

Thank God our celebrated transportation secretary renowned for riding his bike to his office in Washington wasn’t in charge of the Normandy landing.

Then there is the question of where the $7.5 billion of taxpayer money has actually gone. At their current rate of production the final program’s price tag could inflate to more than $1 trillion.

If Trump were president, he’d have long ago summoned Mayor Pete to the Oval Office and greet him with those two words that made him famous: “YOU’RE FIRED.”

Instead many Democrats are quietly talking about throwing Joe Biden off the ticket and one of the front runners to take his place is none other than the highly accomplished Pete Buttigieg.

But there are some serious lessons to be learned from this monumental screw-up.

First, though Biden loves to chat up how much money the government is “investing” — where are the signs that any of these trillions of dollars of borrowed money have improved our lives. This EV charger scandal is just another reminder that the government generally doesn’t “invest” tax dollars — it mostly wastes them.

Second, competence matters. At the Committee to Unleash Prosperity we released a study finding that more than 90% of the Biden top economic and finance team has NO experience running a business. We have an energy secretary who knows nothing about energy and a transportation secretary who knows nothing about transportation. They are either lawyers, academics, politicians or government employees.

They are not bad people. They just don’t know how to run anything — and it shows.

Finally, why do we need the government to build EV charging stations? One hundred years ago the government didn’t build gas stations. They just magically sprouted up all over the roads that crisscross America because entrepreneurs responded to the demand. So two or three brothers would scrap together some cash, buy a small plot of land on I-66, build a service station with four to eight hoses connected to a tank, put up a tall sign posting the gas price and drivers would pull in and fill er up.

All of this “infrastructure” without a single penny or instruction manual from Washington.

Can you imagine if Biden had been president in the 1920s and proclaimed that the government will build 500,000 gas stations? They still wouldn’t be built and we’d all be waiting in long gas lines.

Stephen Moore is a visiting fellow at the Heritage Foundation and a co-founder of the Committee to Unleash Prosperity.  

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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