Federal EV Tax Credit Under Attack By Oil Gluttons


The pussy grabber in chief is not even in office yet and already the fossil fuel industry is agitating to kill the federal EV tax credit. The justification? They are worried working class Americans are being forced to subsidize the wealthy. It’s another variation of the “level playing field” and “government shouldn’t be in the business of picking winners and losers” scams that the rabid right wing uses all the time to protect their entrenched interests. They are about as interested in a level playing field as Al Capone was in paying taxes.

Opponent of federal EV tax credit

This week, the Energy Equality Coalition broke cover. It’s motto is, “Say NO to corporate welfare for the electric car industry.” Then it has this catchy tag line: “Electric Cars: Built by billionaires, bought by millionaires.” Well, if you are a hard working low wage employee, you must be comforted to know that someone is looking out for your best interests, right?

The front man for the new group is George Landrith, who tells The Weekly Standard, “Working-class people are paying taxes to subsidize luxury goods for the richest among us. That’s wrong and needs to stop. So we’re launching the Energy Equality Coalition to raise awareness about this imbalance and end the subsidy behind it. We believe there should be energy equality, not special treatment for the wealthy.” People who get their news from The Weekly Standard could get a firmer grasp of reality if they switched to reading The Onion.

Landrith is on the board of directors of the Energy Equality Coalition. He is also president and CEO of Frontiers of Freedom, a group which describes its mission as follows: “to promote the principles of individual freedom, peace through strength, limited government, free enterprise, free markets, and traditional American values as found in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.” Greenpeace labels Frontiers of Freedom, “A Koch Industries Climate Denial Front Group.” It also says the group’s largest corporate supporter is ExxonMobil. Free markets, by the way, is code for globalization, the web of treaties that have led to the destruction of the US manufacturing base.

Oddly, neither the Energy Equality Coalition nor the Frontiers of Freedom makes any reference to the $5 trillion a year in direct and indirect subsidies the fossil fuel industry receives every year according to the International Monetary Fund. While these organizations profess to be deeply concerned about the plight of the the poor, they care not one whit about the damage to the lungs of the hundreds of millions of people who have to breathe the toxic stew left behind in the atmosphere when fossil fuels are consumed. Nor do these hypocrites spare a thought for the hundreds of thousands of innocent victims whose lives are cut short by pollution from fossil fuel activities every year. What they do care about is protecting the revenue they derive from raping and pillaging the earth in pursuit of their obscene profits.

To be fair, the federal EV tax credit may not be the most efficient use of tax dollars to promote electric cars. Perhaps using that money to expand the charging infrastructure would make more sense or educating the public about the benefits of driving an electric car. Reasonable people could discuss the best and most cost effective way to boost the electric car industry. But the Energy Equality Coalition and Frontiers of Freedom have no interest in having that discussion. Their only interest is in fattening the wallets of their benefactors and making sure the federal government shields them from all challenges to their business model. The damage they do is no concern of theirs.

For those who prefer a future based on clean energy, buckle up. The next four years are going to be a bumpy ride. The Golden Rule is that those with the gold get to make the rules. Some might call that corruption, but  corruption has the blessing of the US Supreme Court thanks to its ruling in Citizens United. What is frightening is that any group of charlatans can capture the minds of so many people by simply choosing a patriotic sounding name and buttressing it with symbols like the American flag and the bald eagle. America will not be great again until people learn to look behind the symbols and decode who is pulling the strings and why.

Source: The Daily Kos

About the Author

I have been a car nut since the days when Rob Walker and Henry N. Manney, III graced the pages of Road & Track. Today, I use my trusty Miata for TSD rallies and occasional track days at Lime Rock and Watkins Glen. If it moves on wheels, I’m interested in it. Please follow me on Google + and Twitter.

  • Disqusor

    Freedom for who ? What about liberty I May ask….

  • darth

    Implement a reasonable tax or cap/trade on carbon emissions and yes, then we can get rid of all these other tax credits.

    Its silly anyway, these tax credits are only for a limited number of cars anyway, so they go away by themselves.

    • Steve Hanley

      I agree there may be better ways of doing it and either a cap and trade or carbon fee scheme would be high on my list.

  • trackdaze

    I didn’t think a 30k chevy bolt or 25k toyota prius prime are being brought exclusively by the millionaire set?

    • Steve Hanley

      True. And that quite nicely exposes the hidden agenda behind these ludicrous claims. Although Nissan LEAF owners tend to all be corporate CEOs or investment bankers, don’t they? ; – )

    • Michael

      Everyone driving a Tesla is rich LOL. There are many pushing their limits to get one, because they believe in the cause.

  • Michael

    If they would only change the credit, it could then be seen as for the “working class” and not the “Rich”. It should be changed to carry over to future tax years, if the full amount cannot be claimed in one tax year. You need bring in a good amount to get the full $7,500. Allowing it to be used like the home energy credit would allow more people to fully utilize it.

    • Steve Hanley

      Couldn’t agree more. The current federal tax credit is a sort of “bait and switch” arrangement.

      • Fran

        I bought my Volt in 2015…just as I was preparing to retire. I’d love to trade in the second car for a BoltEV or similar but I can no longer qualify for the tax credit making it unattainable for us. Trumpism in general scares the hell out of me but this tax “credit” thing has been wrong from the start. Take it off the top at the point of sale and have the dealer take it leaving us to finance or pay for the lower cost. The consumer still gets the “credit”, a lower base for financing, more incentive to buy and the whole thing could continue to slowly expire as it has always been intended to do.
        What frosts me is the massive subsidies the fossils recieve quietly year after year and it’s never mentioned by the main stream in any manner. Why don’t they have a phase out over time?

        • Steve Hanley

          We mention it all the tine! Just part of our friendly service!
          : – )

          One reason the credit is set up this way is to keep the states from bitching that they are losing sales tax/registration fee revenue if the sale price is reduced directly.

          But, yeah. End the fossil fuel subsidies. Make the fossil fuel industry pay not only what it costs to drill and refine but also for the health care costs and environmental damage they do.

          Every industry has waste products. Why should the fossil fuel industry be allowed to dump theirs in a way that requires others to bear the cost of clean up?

          If someone dumped a truck load of effluent from pumping out septic systems on your front lawn, you would be up in arms. But because the damage from fossil fuels is not plainly visible, we allow the industry to dump its crud into the air, the oceans, and the land at no charge.

          That is just absurd. It’s not a carbon tax, people. It is a fair and reasonable fee to compensate society for the massive damage caused.

          These charlatans are always jumping up and down about a level playing field, but when we try to actually level the playing field, they scream bloody murder.

          If the price of gasoline actually reflected its true cost to society, it would be up around 10 bucks a gallon. If that ever happened, the transition to electric cars would happen overnight.

          Spread the word. Fossil fuel companies are crooks who rob people for their own personal gain.

    • dogphlap dogphlap

      That is such a good idea. Who could honestly object to that ?

      • bioburner

        Cap qualification based on income. That would help lower income buyers.

  • John McConnell

    Maybe the government should stop all subsidies to the Oil and Gas industries too!

  • dogphlap dogphlap

    Thanks Steve Hanley. I read the article you credit from the Daily Kos and see that your article was so much more than a mere copy and paste job. Good to see this stuff exposed for the cynical disingenuous pseudo patirotic BS that it is. Such a shame that the folks targeted by “Frontiers of Freedom” will never allow themselves to be exposed to either article.

    • Steve Hanley

      Thanks. I do find inspiration elsewhere but my writing is my own….for better or worse!

  • bioburner

    The tax credit encourages people to lease. People who don’t qualify for the full amount will just lease and collect the entire amount. I’m in favor of removing the $7500 tax credit. It does encourage sales but hurts resale values. IMHO removing subsidies from oil, coal, gas and EVs is the best way to level the field.