It’s a wonder how any thinking person could take President Biden’s warnings about climate change seriously and his supposedly unwavering commitment to save the planet.

In 2022, surrounded by his then climate czar John Kerry and other wise environmental Democrats, Biden made a keynote address hailing himself as Mother Nature’s guardian angel. “The U.N.’s leading international climate scientists called the latest climate report nothing less than, quote, “code red for humanity,” Biden said. “Let me say it again: ‘Code red for humanity.’ It’s not a group of political official — elected officials.  These are the scientists.”

“Climate change is literally an existential threat to our nation and to the world,” Biden thundered.

We know from the pandemic days how the Biden Administration and his supportive U.S. media claim to religiously follow proven science. Biden assured the nation that his administration would reduce environmental harm, no ifs, ands, or buts.

“My message today is this: Since Congress is not acting as it should — and these guys here are, but we’re not getting many Republican votes — this is an emergency.  An emergency.  And I will — I will look at it that way,” Biden said. “I’ll say it again loud and clear: As President, I’ll use my executive powers to combat climate — the climate crisis in the absence of congressional actions, notwithstanding their incredible action.”

The Biden administration on Friday finalized tighter fuel economy rules for trucks and sport utility vehicles through 2031 that are not as stringent as it first proposed, the National Highway Transportation Safety Agency said. It’s a huge victory for Detroit automakers, as it will allow them to avoid penalties for their failures transitioning to electric vehicles.

NHTSA said the rule will hike fuel economy to about 50.4 miles per gallon by 2031 from 29.1 mpg currently. Last year, the agency projected the rule would hike requirements to 58 mpg by 2032.

As reported by Reuters, the relaxed regulations will save the automotive industry $14 billion in penalties, including $6.5 billion for GM, $3 billion for Chrysler parent Stellantis, and $1 billion for Ford. That would indicate a savings of only $3.5 billion in penalties for other foreign automakers selling vehicles in the U.S.

Dan Becker, director of the Center for Biological Diversity’s Safe Climate Transport Campaign, said NHTSA had “caved to automaker pressure” and declared the agency’s “weak final rule wastes too much gas, spews too much pollution and cedes the clean vehicle market to foreign automakers.”

Toyota’s popular Prius and Camry hybrids already exceed the NHTSA fuel economy mandates. The Prius gets 57 miles per gallon, while the hybrid Camry gets 51 miles per gallon in city driving and 53 miles on the highway. Toyota’s hybrid Camry is manufactured in Kentucky.

One third of Toyota’s sales are hybrids. Toyota has committed more than $18 billion in EV investments in the U.S., which I believe exceeds that of any automaker.

John Bozzella, who heads the Alliance for Automotive Innovation trade group representing major automakers, praised NHTSA’s relaxed environmental targets, dramatically reducing projected penalties that his members had feared.

“Those fines wouldn’t have produced any environmental benefits or additional fuel economy and would’ve foolishly diverted automaker capital away from the massive investments required by the electric vehicle transition,” Bozzella said.

Bozzella’s argument is the same specious defense that Donald Trump used when he cut corporate taxes, arguing that it would result in U.S. companies investing more in their operations and paying their employees better wages.

That proved not to be the case. One analysis found that companies had announced $171 billion in new spending on stock buybacks, while only $6 billion was allocated for employee compensation.

GM and Ford, whose respective CEOs Mary Barra and Jim Farley initially embraced Biden’s aggressive electric vehicles mandates, have significantly scaled back their EV investments. Meanwhile Barra committed $10 billion in stock buybacks to boost GM’s depressed stock price under her leadership. Ford also spent money on stock buybacks, albeit to a much lesser degree.

Reuters reported that the relaxed fuel economy rules are the third regulatory action the Biden administration has taken in recent months that did not tighten vehicle regulatory proposals as much as promised. Earlier actions included new compliance calculations for EVs that were less strict than originally proposed, and tailpipe rules that would ultimately require automakers to make fewer EVs than they had originally forecast.

In another move that undermines his commitment to fight climate change, Biden recently imposed a 100% tariff on electric vehicles made by China-based manufacturers. The move is intended to protect GM and Ford, who lose money on every EV they sell.

Chinese EV manufacturers are establishing plants in Mexico, where GM and Ford presumably have a strategic advantage because they already have a significant presence south of the border. GM, Mexico’s biggest manufacturer, assembles its EV Blazer and Equinox vehicles in that country, where Ford proudly manufactures its electric Mustang and its gas engine Bronco Sport and Maverick pickups. Ford’s engineering center in Mexico is the largest in Latin America.

GM’s and Ford’s Mexican-made EVs are eligible for significant taxpayer rebates, and their U.S. EV plants are heavily taxpayer subsidized. If climate change is real and electric vehicles are a panacea, logic suggests that all EV purchases be eligible for taxpayer rebates, particularly those manufactured in Mexico.

Biden warned that China’s EVs are a threat to the privacy of Americans because the internet-enabled vehicles can collect critical personal data. The accusation is laughable given that GM already faces about a dozen lawsuits for allegedly surreptitiously tracking the driving patterns of the automaker’s internet-enabled vehicles and selling the information, sometimes resulting in higher insurance rates.

GM and Ford make the bulk of their profits selling gas guzzling trucks and SUVs. In what amounts to another diss to Americans, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), an independent, nonprofit scientific and educational organization dedicated to reducing deaths, injuries and property damage from motor vehicle crashes, last week released its top safety picks for SUVs sold in America.

Not one GM or Ford vehicle made the list.

General Motors’ Chevrolet Tahoe and Ford’s Expedition were especially troublesome, Raul Arbelaez, vice president of the Institute’s Vehicle Research Center in Ruckersville, Virginia, told the Detroit Free Press. This included subpar performance in the small overlap test, which measures what happens when one of the front vehicle corners crashes into another vehicle or object.

When it comes to protecting passengers in the back seat, the Tahoe and Expedition showed heightened risk for chest injuries. Additionally, the Tahoe showed an elevated risk to back seat passengers for abdominal injuries.

“Looking at the structure for the Expedition and the Tahoe, I am very disappointed that they couldn’t do better in the small overlap test,” Arbelaez told the Free Press. That test has been around for over 10 years. They could have and should have designed these vehicles to do well.”

The IIHS earlier this year released its safety ratings for other vehicles sold in the U.S. Not one GM or Ford vehicle made the list. Hyundai and Toyota were the industry leaders.

In other Michigan news that should concern environmentalists, ProPublica reported last week that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer hasn’t made good on her promise to halt the bottled water industry from extracting hundreds of millions of gallons of Michigan groundwater virtually for free. Whitmer vowed to end the practice when she first ran for governor in 2018.

“(Whitmer) basically kind of ignored us for the last six years,” Peggy Case, board president of the nonprofit Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation, told ProPublica. “Which is sad. I mean, she didn’t ignore us before the election.”

This is the same Gov. Whitmer who spearheaded $1.7 billion taxpayer grants and subsidies for Ford’s electric battery plant in rural Marshall, which required the destruction of fertile farmland and century old trees. Among the concerns of area residents is that lithium from Ford’s battery plant might seep into the ground and harm the wells from which many residents get their water. There also are concerns that lithium might leak into the nearby Kalamazoo River and harm freshwater fishing.

ProPublica in January published this damning report about Michigan AG Dana Nessel challenging claims rightfully owed to persons who were wrongfully imprisoned. Michigan has the fifth-most exonerations in the country, according to the National Registry of Exonerations: 169 wrongful convictions in state courts since 1989, with an average of nearly 11 years of incarceration.

The Detroit News last week reported that Nessel’s deputy attorney general Zena Ozeir in March posted a meme that said, “f—- America, f— anyone who shares … Zionist propaganda.” The meme was posted March 24 and got 110 likes.

President Biden last month visited Detroit for a campaign stop at the NAACP Fight for Freedom Fund Dinner, where Detroit Police detained and issued misdemeanor citations to 10 pro-Hamas protestors, the local FOX station reported. Ozeir accused Detroit police of using excessive force.

Ozeir in 2014 was arrested in St. Louis while protesting police violence against African Americans as part of a pro-Palestinian delegation. Ozeir accused St. Louis police of using excessive force as well.

Meanwhile, UAW president Shawn Fain is reportedly under federal investigation by the court-appointed watchdog tasked with eliminating corruption, according to a federal court filing, one of a series of probes targeting top leaders of the scandal-plagued union.

The watchdog, monitor Neil Barofsky, revealed the probe Monday while accusing union leaders of obstructing and interfering with attempts to access information, actions that could serve as an apparent violation of the 2020 consent decree that averted a full-scale takeover of the UAW by the Justice Department.

Fain was among the guests invited by the White House to attend an official state dinner with Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. The UAW has endorsed Biden’s reelection bid.

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