In the long run there are many alternative ways of generating electricity, including renewable ways (solar, tidal, geothermal, wind). If the scale-up to electric cars as the primary transportation style could be over several decades, the electricity generators could probably keep up. As it is, you are correct, that the only really easy way now to scale up electricity generation is by mining and burning more coal. To a smaller extent, you can do that with natural gas (another fossil fuel) or uranium (mined, and 85% imported in the US) but coal is the easy way for some time to come.
If you could snap your fingers and turn every car into electric, there would be no way the US could come close to generating the electricity that would be required, not right now.
Also, electric cars will not eliminate US import dependency – it will just change, to import needs for things like neodymium, lanthanum, and lithium (for the motors and batteries of electric-powered things, including cars and wind turbines).
For a lot of consumers, we can only expect one step at a time. Right now electric cars are gaining popularity, and that gives me hope that the awareness involved in choosing an electric car will bring up more questions and answers about what more we can do, where does this electricity come from? etc.
But if we always determine that one step in solving a problem is irrelevant because of another problem, we won’t get anywhere. Sometimes we have to take one bridge at a time.
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