On Wednesday, Senator Joe Manchin from West Virginia, who is a Democrat, issued a warning to the Biden administration that he may take legal action against them regarding tax credits for electric vehicles.
According to Reuters, as the chair of the Senate Energy Committee, Manchin stated that he is ready to take legal action before the U.S. Treasury issues its anticipated guidance on battery sourcing for electric vehicle tax credits, which is expected to happen later this week.
Manchin, who has a history of backing the interests of the fossil fuel industry in Congress, expressed his desire to shift the electric vehicle supply chain away from China. He stated that he will closely monitor how the Treasury categorizes processing and manufacturing to determine eligibility for the $7,500 tax credits for electric vehicles.
"Manufacturing is meant to bring manufacturing back to the United States," he told reporters Wednesday. "It's not basically allowing everyone to put all the parts and build everything you can for that battery somewhere else and then send it here for assembly."
Manchin blasts Biden's ESG veto, accuses him of putting 'radical policy agenda' ahead of economic security https://t.co/yEgEzUuxOp
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It is anticipated that the Treasury will announce the regulations on battery sourcing for electric vehicle tax credits by Friday, and according to a previous report by Reuters, it is expected that fewer vehicles will qualify for full or partial credits under the new regulations. These rules are part of the $430 billion Inflation Reduction Act, which was passed by the Democrats in August and covers climate change, healthcare, and tax-related issues.
Senator Manchin wrote an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, in which he accused the Biden administration of disregarding the original purpose of the bill.
"Instead of implementing the law as intended, unelected ideologues, bureaucrats and appointees seem determined to violate and subvert the law to advance a partisan agenda that ignores both energy and fiscal security," Manchin wrote. "The administration is attempting at every turn to implement the bill it wanted, not the bill Congress actually passed."
Manchin also demanded Biden "sit down with fiscally minded Republicans and Democrats to negotiate common-sense reforms to out-of-control fiscal policy."
According to Fox News Digital, a White House official provided a response to the aforementioned op-ed: "We have a strong and productive relationship with Senator Manchin. We are proud of the Inflation Reduction Act and our shared goals it achieves—promoting America’s energy security, strengthening supply chains, creating good-paying manufacturing jobs, and investing in energy communities and towns across America that have been left behind."
The bill stipulates that electric vehicle buyers can receive a credit of $3,750 if 50% of the battery components' value are produced or assembled in North America, and another $3,750 credit if 40% of the critical minerals' value are sourced from either the US or a country that has a free trade agreement with the US. However, China currently dominates the global supply chain for electric vehicle batteries.
Furthermore, these quotas will increase by 10 percentage points each year.
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