Just over two years ago, on Nov. 6, 2021, the White House celebrated the passage of the so-called Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal as a "once-in-a-generation investment in our nation’s infrastructure and competitiveness."
Among the goals of the act, known formally as the "Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act," was to "invest $7.5 billion to build out a national network of EV chargers in the United States," according to a Biden administration statement at the time.
"The legislation will provide funding for deployment of EV chargers along highway corridors to facilitate long-distance travel and within communities to provide convenient charging where people live, work, and shop," the administration claimed.
"This investment will support the President’s goal of building a nationwide network of 500,000 EV chargers to accelerate the adoption of EVs, reduce emissions, improve air quality, and create good-paying jobs across the country."
But it didn't say when.
Which may explain why, over two years later, not a single electric vehicle charger has been installed using the money appropriated for that purpose by Congress through the IIJA.
While many may jump to the conclusion that some sort of corruption or conspiracy is to blame, the answer, according to Politico (behind a paywall) is much more banal.
The culprit is run-of-the-mill government inefficiency, the outlet reported Tuesday.
"States and the charger industry blame the delays mostly on the labyrinth of new contracting and performance requirements they have to navigate to receive federal funds," according to Politico.
Because of course they do; it's not like anyone would expect them to take responsibility for the delays themselves, not when there's big ol' federal behemoth to point fingers at.
"While federal officials have authorized more than $2 billion of the funds to be sent to states, fewer than half of states have even started to take bids from contractors to build the chargers -- let alone begin construction," it added.
Federal estimates (which are likely to be inflated, given who's running things at the moment) cited by Politico (which is unlikely to fact check the current administration, given its political biases) said that because of the "rising" consumer demand for electric vehicles, the U.S. by 2030 is going to need six times the number of EV chargers currently available.
So far, the IIJA has provided one-sixth of that. The number of EV chargers available to U.S. consumers prior to the passage of the act has been multiplied by ... one.
If you're trying to figure out how much that means each new charger has cost the American taxpayer, don't bother. It's not possible to divide by zero.
The utter failure of this "once-in-a-generation" legislation is yet another clear example of the ineffectiveness of the government to accomplish much of anything at all -- as if we needed another one.
It also seems likely to hurt Joe Biden at the ballot box next year, as leftists can't possibly be happy at the lack of progress and even if a handful of chargers do by some minor miracle appear between now and then, it won't give the incumbent much of a talking point to run on.
In fact, if the IIJA winds up being the straw that breaks the backs of leftists who might otherwise have voted to re-elect Biden next year and motivates them to stay home, that might end up being the legislation's most significant accomplishment.
And there are plenty who would argue that preventing a second Biden term would be well worth $7.5 billion all by itself.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.