Posted on July 09, 2018 by Matt Pressman
Christine Todd Whitman served as head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under President George W. Bush back in 2001-2003. With experience having worked intimately with (and regulating) the energy industries, it should come as no surprise that she witnessed efforts from the Oil Industry to undermine clean energy solutions. Recently, Whitman came forward (via CNBC) to discuss Big Oil's misguided 'misinformation' efforts.
Above: Electric vehicles from Tesla "fuel up" at a solar-powered Supercharger station (Image: Energy Sage)
According to Whitman, "When technological innovation threatens to upend the status quo, the status quo fights back. Every time. I try to keep that in mind when observing oil industry-backed efforts to discredit electric vehicles (EVs) and dismantle progress on transportation electrification by peddling misinformation through industry-funded studies."
Whitman goes on to parallel the "absurdity" of such efforts from antiquated business sectors (e.g. landline phones, DVD rentals) desperately trying to maintain dominance. She writes, "Imagine Bell Communication publishing a report suggesting cell phones are less convenient than landlines. Or Blockbuster paying for an analysis showing Netflix makes watching movies more difficult."
Above: Could Tesla do to gas stations what Netflix did to Blockbuster stores? (Flickr: Daniel70mi Falciola)
She notes, "As one might expect when an industry contemplates its own obsolescence, the oil industry is doing everything possible to delay the inevitable — including funding questionable research... [meanwhile] EVs are cleaner than gasoline vehicles today and will continue to be into the future based on extensive studies."
"Here’s the bottom line: transportation electrification is a really good idea, and electric vehicles are a superior product. That’s why they will replace the internal combustion engine... I suspect that someday, future generations will look back on the age of the internal combustion engine with the same mixture of amazement and bemusement that come to mind when we think of the times of the horse-and-buggy," says Whitman.
Above: Electric vehicles can help contribute to a greener future (Image: Tesla)
She concludes, "Transportation electrification coupled with the continued transition to clean energy sources promise a much better future for all of us... The benefits of that future will be so striking that we should do everything we can to hasten the transition. And we should soundly condemn the arguments that seek to slow or delay that progress for the misguided efforts they are."