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EU to Shield Green Policies From Oil Price Drop

When the going gets tough, the tough…prop up struggling new industries with government support? That doesn’t sound right, but it’s exactly the line of thinking that has EU policymakers surprisingly upbeat about the prospect of new green technologies competing with bargain-basement oil. Reuters reports:

A roughly 50 percent drop in the international oil market since June…lessens consumers’ incentive to buy electric and hybrid vehicles.

EU sales of electrically chargeable vehicles in the last quarter of 2014 fell to 24,548 from 26,607 in the final quarter of 2013, a nearly 8 percent drop, figures from the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association revealed on Wednesday. […]

European policymakers, meanwhile, plan more regulatory incentives as they seek to cut dependency on imported fossil fuel and to limit carbon emissions. Electric vehicles are an environmental solution provided they use renewable power.

As gas prices drop, apparently so too does the demand for electric cars. Here in the U.S., we’ve already seen a spike in SUV sales in response to sub-$2.00 per gallon gas. This tells us that the surge in hybrid and electric vehicle sales we’ve seen in recent years has largely come because of consumer interest in potential savings, not out of some deep abiding love for the technology or a desire to be one with Gaia on the highway.

Meanwhile EU regulators remain undaunted by the rapidly dimming prospects of one of their precious environmental policy hobby horses. “Some people think that the recent decrease in oil prices will have a negative impact on electric cars. Personally, I am convinced that this will not be the case…New targets will trigger innovation and investments,” said EU Climate Action and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete.

Rather than adjusting strategies according to prevailing market forces, the EU seems set to double down on regulations in an attempt to cram an increasingly unpopular product down the consumer’s throat. That’s a remarkably short-sighted position from a group so publicly concerned about sustainability.

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  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    The EU is earning their economic decline, with stupid policies like this one. This is beyond Blue Model and into the Water Melon Model “Green on the outside and Red in the middle”.

  • S.C. Schwarz

    Again, as if we needed further proof, we see that Green fanaticism has nothing to do with a rational analysis of environmental benefits as whatever CO2 reductions this policy achieves, and they will be minimal, will quickly be canceled out by growth in China, India, and other developing countries. Having abandoned Christianity Europeans still need something to believe in and they have chosen secular environmentalism. Bad choice.

  • Boritz

    Suggested name: Neue verbesserte Energiewende
    Suggested slogan: Nicht dein Vatis Energiewende

  • Kevin

    I would believe Mr Arias Canetes a lot more if he invested his own money in electric vehicles instead of playing with taxpayer money.

  • FriendlyGoat

    Why shouldn’t Europe want to reduce dependency on imported fossil fuel?

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