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Biden pushes electric vehicle chargers, as energy costs rise


With the raising cost of goods and services, and a super spike in inflation President Joe Biden has decided to help out those who can afford electric vehicles, by having more electric car charging stations installed all over the country, in his belief it will help curb climate change. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell took the Senate floor Tuesday to chastise the Biden Administration for focusing on more unproven green technologies and spending money that needs to be spent elsewhere. As reported by the AP:

President Biden will visit a General Motors plant in Detroit that manufactures electric vehicles, and use the occasion to make the case for green technology

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is highlighting billions of dollars in his giant bipartisan infrastructure deal to pay for the installation of electric vehicle chargers across the country, an investment he says will go a long way to curbing planet-warming carbon emissions while creating good-paying jobs.

President Joe Biden waits to speak during a visit to the NH 175 bridge over the Pemigewasset River to promote infrastructure spending Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021, in Woodstock, N.H. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Biden on Wednesday will visit a General Motors plant in Detroit that manufactures electric vehicles. He’ll use the occasion to make the case that the $7.5 billion in the new infrastructure law for electric vehicle chargers will help America get “off the sidelines” on green-energy manufacturing. Currently, the U.S. market share of plug-in electric vehicle sales is one-third the size of the Chinese EV market.

“It’s a big deal,” Biden declared as he signed the bill into law at a White House ceremony earlier this week.

Republicans — even some of those who voted in favor of the infrastructure package — are criticizing Biden for being preoccupied with electric vehicle technology at a time when Americans are contending with a spike in gasoline and natural gas prices.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell took the Senate floor Tuesday to make the case that “the Biden administration doesn’t have any strategic plan to snap its fingers and turn our massive country into some green utopia overnight.”

President Joe Biden walks over to speak to reporters as he prepares to depart Manchester-Boston Regional Airport, Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021, in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

“They just want to throw boatloads of government money at things like solar panels and electric vehicles and hope it all works out,” said McConnell, one of 19 GOP senators who voted in favor of the infrastructure bill. He added, “American families are staring down the barrel of skyrocketing heating bills, and the Democrats’ response is to go to war against affordable American energy.”

White House press secretary Jen Psaki has stressed that the administration is looking at “every tool in our arsenal” to combat high gasoline prices, saying that Biden and his economic team are “quite focused” on the issue.

Psaki said the administration has asked the Federal Trade Commission “to crack down on illegal pricing” and is engaging with countries and entities abroad like OPEC on increasing supply.

The GM plant that Biden will visit was slated to be closed in 2018 as the automaker tried to shed excess factory capacity to build sedans as buyers shifted toward SUVs and trucks. But the plant, which built cars with internal combustion engines since it opened in 1985, was rescued a year later and designated Factory Zero to build zero-emissions electric vehicles.

Currently, the 4.1 million-square-foot plant, which straddles the border between Detroit and the enclave of Hamtramck, is making pre-production versions of the electric GMC Hummer pickup truck.

FILE – Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., speaks to reporters after a Republican policy meeting at the Capitol in Washington, Nov. 2, 2021. This year’s $1 trillion infrastructure bill easily cleared the Senate by a 69-13 vote with some GOP support. But the bill crawled through the House last week by a 228-206 margin with just 13 Republican votes. Those 13 GOP members have come under harsh criticism from former President Donald Trump and others. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Next year it will start making a Hummer electric SUV. The plant will start cranking out the Origin, an electric vehicle for GM’s Cruise autonomous vehicle subsidiary, in 2023, and an electric Chevrolet Silverado pickup at an unspecified date.

The plant won’t see much direct impact from the infrastructure spending, but it will benefit from $7.5 billion designated to help build an electric vehicle charging network.

Biden wanted $15 billion to build 500,000 chargers and hasn’t given a number for how many could be constructed for half that amount.

It’s likely $7.5 billion won’t be enough. The International Council on Clean Transportation says the U.S. will need 2.4 million charging stations by 2030 if 36% of new vehicle sales are electric. Currently there are about 45,500 charging stations nationwide with about 112,000 plugs.

Biden is hoping to do even more to promote electric vehicles, including a provision for a $7,500 tax credit for consumers who buy electric vehicles through 2026 that’s been floated as part of his proposed $1.85 trillion social services and climate bill.

A 2021 Chevrolet Bolt EV, is displayed with 2020 models at Bill Crispin Chevrolet Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021, in Saline, Mich. Opinion polls show that most Americans would consider an EV if it cost less, there were more charging stations along freeways, and if automakers offered a bigger variety of models. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

The following year only purchases of electric vehicles made in the U.S. would qualify for the credit. The base credit would go up by $4,500 if the vehicle is made at a U.S. plant that operates under a union-negotiated collective bargaining agreement. Only auto plants owned by GM, Ford Motor Co. and Stellantis NV qualify.

The tax break favoring American-made vehicles could be a point of tension when Biden hosts Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador at the White House on Thursday for the first North American Leaders Summit since 2016.

Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly said she raised concerns with Secretary of State Antony Blinken when the two met in Washington last week that the proposed tax credit would have an adverse impact on North America’s integrated auto industry and put thousands of jobs in Canada at risk.


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