Detroit Free Press: Trump wants to end $7,500 electric car tax credits, members of Congress move to stop him
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has proposed ending tax credits to encourage the purchase of electric cars but a bipartisan group in Congress moved Wednesday to stop him.
U.S. Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters, both D-Mich., as well as Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., Susan Collins, R-Maine, and U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Flint Township, instead proposed legislation that would expand the credits.
"Today's legislation is something we can do now to reduce emissions and combat carbon pollution," said Stabenow, who has long pushed to protect the tax credits intended to encourage people to purchase vehicles powered by electricity or hydrogen fuel cells. "Our bill will (also) help create American jobs."
Under the current regulations, consumers purchasing eligible electric-powered vehicles can receive a tax credit of up to $7,500. The Trump administration has said getting rid of that credit could allow the U.S. Treasury to bring in another $2.5 billion.
Eliminating or changing the credits, however, would take an act of Congress, and the program has enjoyed bipartisan support in the past. In the current proposal, rather than eliminating the credit it would expand it, raising the limit at which it currently begins to phase out.
Current law says that once an auto manufacturer sells 200,000 vehicles, the credit begins to phase out entirely over the next calendar year.
The new proposal would allow for purchasers to be eligible for a $7,000 credit after that 200,000 threshold is crossed until after the manufacturer sells an additional 400,000 electric vehicles, when the phase-out would begin. The phase-out would be complete after six months.
At present, only General Motors and Tesla have sold more than 200,000 electric vehicles.
"Putting more electric vehicles on the road will ... support investment in American-made manufacturing," said Kildee. Peters, meanwhile, said it will "help Michigan stay at the forefront of global auto innovation, spur job growth and move us toward a more sustainable and competitive transportation future."
Genevieve Cullen, president of the Electric Drive Transportation Association, a trade association of energy and technology companies as well as major automakers including GM, Ford Motor, Fiat Chrysler, Toyota and others, urged Congress to take "prompt action" to enact the bipartisan legislation.
“Electrifying the U.S. fleet of vehicles will allow drivers to reduce their fuel costs, help to reduce greenhouse gases and other pollutants and enhance our energy security through fuel diversity," she said.
By: Todd Spangler
Source: Detroit Free Press
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