Boo-hooing the Pirates & bribing EV makers

Boo-hooing the Pirates & bribing EV makers

The Post-Gazette is incensed – incensed, we say – that the Pittsburgh Pirates have just completed yet another abysmal season. And it’s calling on team owner Bob Nutting to “field a major league team – or find someone who will,” as goes the editorial headline.

“There’s a difference between giving the baseball staff just enough cash to be a competitive franchise and giving them just enough to field nine warm bodies,” the editorial goes on to state.

“Under owner Bob Nutting, the Pirates have been the latter. And it’s an embarrassment to this city, to baseball fans and to the world-class ballpark the team consistently fails to live up to,” it continues.

But then, the real boo-hooing commences:

“A baseball team, like any business, is not just an investment. It is not merely defined by its balance sheet. Its value cannot be reduced to the profit it generates.

“It is a community institution, with community responsibilities. It is, like all of us, meant to serve a good beyond itself — in this case, civic pride, athletic excellence and compelling entertainment.

“Seen this way, the Nutting regime has been a failure, not just athletically but morally. That regime should come to an end, sooner rather than later.”

Pass the hanky.

Sorry, but the P-G veritably emboldened, if not endorsed, this kind of business model nearly 25 years ago when it backed the immoral taxpayer funding to build PNC Park.

It’s a quarter-century too late to be crying “Foul!”

From the Pennsylvania Department of You Have to be Kidding comes this latest outlandish exercise in command-and-control government:

Stung by the fact that electric vehicle (EV) sales in Pennsylvania are not exactly cooperating with its grand ecocratic blueprint to slay “climate change,” the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) “is rolling out a plan to give car buyers better access to electric cars and trucks without having to travel to neighboring states to find more plug-in options on dealers’ lots,” the P-G reports.

DEP bemoans the fact that 13 states – including the neighboring states of New York, New Jersey and Maryland – receive a disproportionate share of electric vehicles sold in the United States because those states give carmakers tax credits for shipping cars there.

Pennsylvania’s grand solution? Further subsidize an already heavily subsidized EV industry in an attempt to command sales of a product that sales figures more than suggest the motoring public does not want.

Talk about a race to the bottom.

Says Mark Hammond, the DEPs director of Air Quality, “This is not only an environmental benefit, but it’s a consumer choice benefit.”

Egads, government-commanded “consumer choice” is neither a “consumer choice” nor a “benefit.” It’s a bribe to EV automakers to help the government do its economy-destroying bidding.

The DEP says its new rule, scheduled to take effect in 2025, would raise EV sales from the current 1 to 2 percent of new car and truck sales to between 6 and 8 percent.

But at what cost to taxpayers? And a what cost to the marketplace the DEP now seeks to manipulate for what, at its perverted base, is a social policy goal?

Colin McNickle is communications and marketing director at the Allegheny Institute for Public Policy (cmcnickle@alleghenyinstitute.org).