Federal EV Tax Credit Under Fire From Oil & Gas Boosters

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Originally published on Gas2.

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.

This week, the Energy Equality Coalition broke cover. Its 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
Reprinted with permission.

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Steve Hanley

Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else The Force may lead him. He is proud to be "woke" and doesn't really give a damn why the glass broke. He believes passionately in what Socrates said 3000 years ago: "The secret to change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new." You can follow him on Substack and LinkedIn but not on Fakebook or any social media platforms controlled by narcissistic yahoos.

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