VOLUME 42, ISSUE 1
Distributed quarterly by mail and email, the Conservative Caucus of Delaware's newsletter contains relevant information and insights from noted leaders, authoritative stakeholders and like-minded members who demonstrate their passion for the truths we hold dear by putting pen to paper!
DNREC's Order on EV Autos Wrecks Delaware
The Delaware Energy Act 2024
promulgated by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and
Environmental Control (DNREC)
became effective Dec. 11, 2023. It
follows California’s Advanced Clean Car Act II, mandating increasing numbers of Zero Emissions Vehicles (ZEVs), and other changes.
The DNREC Secretary’s Order No. 2023-A-0028 approves regulations on:
(1) low emission vehicle standards;
(2) greenhouse gas emission standards;
(3) zero emission standards for new vehicles weighing up to 14,000 pounds gross vehicle weight. DNREC claims the authority to adopt these regulations without further approval from the
legislature, the governor, or the people.
Twenty years ago, the General
Assembly passed The Delaware Energy Act of 2004 which created the
Governor’s Energy Advisory Council (Council) with 25 members to advise DNREC. The Act mandates the
creation of the Delaware Energy Plan, and that the Plan be updated every five years. The Governor’s Council has four working groups that held meetings from July to December 2023, and held a public event in each county this November. The Council is to make recommendations to DNREC in
January 2024, have another round of community meetings in Spring 2024, and then release the updated Energy Plan in July 2024.
The Governors Energy Advisory Board has prepared 76 recommendations that they will submit to DNREC in January 2024 from four working groups:
(1) Energy Equity and Environmental
(2) Energy Efficiency and
(3) Renewable Energy and Clean
(4) Grid Modernization. Who knows
what they would do?
Stated goals include minimizing energy costs and improving reliability but the results are likely to be just the opposite: higher costs and less reliability. But the Secretary has already issued an Order Approving Final Regulations to amend Delaware’s Low-Emission Vehicle
Program, effective now, without even reviewing the Council’s
What does the Order say?
Starting in Model Year 2026 (MY 2026), 35% of new cars delivered to car dealers in Delaware must be low
emission vehicles that meet the
California standards. Low emission vehicles include all battery electric
vehicles (EV or BEV, same thing), and hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV). Plugin hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) are permitted to make up to 20% of the requirement until 2035.
The percentage of EVs increases to 43% in MY 2027, and to 82% in just five years for MY 2032. DNREC made a small concession to public objections by not requiring 100% of all Delaware vehicles be EVs by MY 2035, stopping it at 82% - for now.
This supposed concession is meaningless because the Order specifically reserves the right to mandate 100% ZEVs and no hybrids from MY 2035 on without “further public notification or commentary.”
Why do this?
The justification is “mitigating impacts on climate change” and improving air quality, but these goals are dubious at best. In 2005, the base year of the Paris Climate Accord, annual U.S. Human CO2 emissions were six billion tons, and the rest of World’s emissions were 24 billion tons. By 2021, U.S. emissions were down one billion tons to five billion tons, a 20% decrease, but the rest of the World emissions expanded from nine billion tons to 33 billion tons, a 37% increase. The increases by other countries were almost double total U.S. emissions. Other countries’ total emissions are now 6.6 times that of U.S. emissions and rising.
CO2 concentration in Delaware air depends on Global emissions, not just Delaware emissions. Delaware cannot “mitigate” climate change from CO2 because Delaware emissions are too small, only 0.03% of Global Human emissions, a completely insignificant amount relative to climate change. What’s more, the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) data shows Natural CO2 emissions from land and oceans are about 20 times Human emissions. Thus, Delaware emissions only account for 0.002% of all Natural and Human emissions combined.
The Secretary’s Order says that by the year 2030 their plan will realize a reduction of 1.2 million metric tons of CO2. This is only 10% of Delaware’s 12.5 million metric tons total CO2 emissions, and only 0.0002% of Global Human and Natural emissions, which total 760,000 million metric tons according to the IPCC.
It is a well-know scientific fact that the warming effects of CO2 diminish with increasing CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. Would anyone who knows the facts honestly believe that reducing emissions by one or 12.5 million metric tons make any difference to 760,000 million tons? No, reasonable person would.
As for air quality, Delaware air quality has met all EPA standards in all three counties for all emission criteria. However, New Castle County is included in the Philadelphia group, which had a 71-part per billion (ppb) value for ozone for the group, only one ppb over the 70-ppb standard. For this one ppb, the Philadelphia group had a “Moderate” non-attainment rating for ozone, but New Castle County by itself met the standard.
The 70 ppb value is considered to be very conservative on the side of protecting health. The standard was reduced from 75 ppb to 70 ppb based on a now discredited study.
DNREC’s Order claims that it will reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides and particulate matter, but Delaware
already meets these standards. But particulate matter is a particular problem for EVs and will actually be increased by EVs. Batteries make the vehicles so heavy that they need heavy-duty tires which wear out quickly and generate more particulate rubber particles than other vehicles. Fuel-cells hybrids operate at high temperatures which will form more nitrogen oxides.
The cost and drawbacks of EVs.
EVs are expensive. They depend on materials coming from foreign countries, need expensive charging stations, have limited range and other shortcomings, including a tendency to spontaneously cause fires which cannot be extinguished. The Order addresses the high cost of new ZEVs in three ways.
(1) There are subsidies, but this money is
not free. It will come from increased
taxes and/or inflation reducing the
value of the dollar. And once EVs
reach the 100% mark, the subsidies
will go away.
(2) They claim Zero EVs will “reach price
parity” with conventional vehicles “around 2033” but this is
unsubstantiated and stated by those
with a bias towards EVs.
(3) They claim used EVs would be available at low cost, but they would
also be of low value with a used
battery which might need replacement at exorbitant cost.
They don’t even address the probable high cost and limited availability of expensive scarce materials needed for ZEVs, which might not even be available in sufficient quantity from unfriendly, foreign sources who control them.
DNREC’s Order applies only to individuals and small businesses and may avoid some opposition from large
businesses and non-profits for the time being. This is clearly unfair to small businesses and individuals, who lack the tax breaks or money to absorb the high cost of EVs. Eventually, the Order will apply to big businesses, thereby increasing the cost of everything as they pass on the cost of EVs to the consumer. Non-profits will spend more donation money on EVs than on the mission of their non-profit.
Delaware’s Low Emission Vehicle Program and renewable energy policies are expensive and detrimental virtual signaling which will have a catastrophic impact on Delawareans and our economy. ■