Gas prices too expensive? That's okay, here come more electric cars.
A new electric car plant is set to open in Benicia, with possibly a sister plant near car-addled Los Angeles. The plant could create about 100 jobs, and add an additional 14,000 cars to the roads each year. And you thought traffic was bad now.
It's being called the latest entry into the Bay Area's "green" jobs economy -- but of course, electric cars aren't necessarily better for the environment. The electricity still has to be generated someplace, after all, whether by coal, nuclear or maybe even a tiny bit of solar. But since power plants burn their fossil fuels someplace very far away, it's easy to pretend that you've eliminated your carbon footprint. Just try not to think about all the emissions released by the manufacturing process, not to mention the destructive mining required to extract the metals for car batteries.
Meanwhile, many more non-electric cars will be arriving soon, courtesy of Honda. The company just opened a port facility in Richmond, and is expected to import 145,000 of the deadly steel machines per year. This, too, has been hailed as a "green" innovation, since the port will reduce the need for truck travel. But it won't reduce fuels burned by ships, or by those hundreds of thousands of individual vehicles.