Here at Muscle Cars & Trucks, we like muscle cars. And trucks. It’s in our name. And while there’s absolutely nothing wrong with a spacious, practical electric Mustang crossover that can run circles around 90-some percent of the world’s internal combustion cars, we tend to think it’s a bit early yet to be talking about corralling all motorists into heavy, expensive battery-powered toaster ovens and banishing gasoline engines to the trash bin of history. Indeed, maintaining good stewardship of the planet will take a good deal of collective action, but why is that the bulk of that burden feels like it’s resting on the shoulders of ordinary motorists, or even maritimers for that matter?
That might be a bit more than just a hunch; according to a report from the European clean transport campaign group Transport & Environment, yachts would be exempted from a newly proposed set of carbon pricing and low-GHG fuel rules in the European Union. Yachts. This comes after another draft proposal pertaining to a jet fuel tax suggested exempting private jets (and cargo flights) in Europe.
In other words, the yacht exemption is still more proof that when it comes to saving the climate, everything is on the table just so long as it doesn’t inconvenience the ultra-wealthy. At this rate, us peasants will all have to convert our classic Mustangs and Corvettes to battery power long before the one percenters ever have to make any concessions with their yacht jaunts.
Now to be fair, it isn’t just yachts that Transport & Environment found would be exempt from the draft European Union proposal. The report also claims that the loopholes in the draft would exempt offshore vessels and fishing vessels. Altogether, the emissions from all exempted vessels are enough to match the total CO2 emissions from the country of Denmark in 2020.
Meanwhile, let’s not forget that much of Europe – including Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Germany, Italy, France, and Belgium – have all proposed banning the sale of new internal combustion vehicles in the not-too-distant future. That’s despite the fact that EVs, as efficient and emissions-free as they are, are certainly not without their problems. There are huge environmental (and cost) concerns with the mining and processing of lithium, without which there are no lithium-ion batteries, and the rare earth motors that propel many EVs often by necessity use materials sourced from China, introducing still more environmental and labor concerns into the equation.
And then there’s the whole thing about electric vehicles offering highly limited driving ranges and long refueling times, none of which will fly across much of the US – a large, spread out country with charging infrastructure largely concentrated where you would think: coastal cities.
If this is all concerning to you, don’t worry. There’s a simple trick that will keep you shielded from environmental regulations for decades to come: just be rich.