Quantcast

Trump Wants to Cut Subsidies for Electric Cars, Renewables

A Tesla Model S at a supercharger station. Public Herald / Flickr

Government subsidies for electric vehicles and solar panels are an important tool to help accelerate a clean energy economy. However, a top White House economic advisor said on Monday that the Trump administration is looking to end such federal incentives, Reuters reported.

Sweeteners for purchasing EVs and other Obama-era items could be eliminated in as little as two years, according to Larry Kudlow, the director of the White House National Economic Council.


"As a matter of our policy, we want to end all of those subsidies," Kudlow said, as quoted by Reuters. "And by the way, other subsidies that were imposed during the Obama administration, we are ending, whether it's for renewables and so forth."

Kudlow blamed General Motors' recent plant closures and layoffs as the catalyst behind the decision. His comments echoed President Donald Trump's tweet last week that threatened to cut all subsidies for GM, including ones for electric vehicles, in order to punish the automaker.

When asked for a timeline, Kudlow added: "It's just all going to end in the near future. I don't know whether it will end in 2020 or 2021."

The federal government currently offers $7,500 in tax credits for purchases of new electric vehicles under a 2009 federal law. Congress caps the tax credits at 200,000 vehicles per manufacturer. After hitting that mark, the credit phases out.

The only U.S. carmaker to hit this threshold is Elon Musk's Tesla, although GM is said to be close to losing this credit. This means the timeline suggested by Kudlow wouldn't really hurt GM since their tax credits could soon phase out anyway, as Electrek pointed out. However, it would punish other EV-makers and its customers if the proposal comes to fruition.

Kudlow did not provide exact details on how the White House would eliminate the tax credits, as it would require an act of Congress. It's also unlikely to happen after Democrats—many of whom are pushing for additional clean energy incentives—take control of the House in January.

Meanwhile, the Trump administration seems to have no problem propping up fossil fuel companies. The U.S. spends about $26 billion a year supporting the industry.

However, federal subsidies for the renewable energy sector have declined significantly from about $15.5 billion in 2013 to $6.7 billion in 2016, according an April analysis by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Show Comments ()
Sponsored
AleksandarNakic / Getty Images

By Kate Murphy

No matter the time of year, there's always a point in each season when my skin decides to cause me issues. While these skin issues can vary, I find the most common issues to be dryness, acne and redness.

Read More Show Less

David Woodfall / The Image Bank / Getty Images

By Sam Nickerson

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in April 2018 proposed relaxing standards related to how it assesses the effects of exposure to low levels of toxic chemicals on public health.

Now, correspondence obtained by the LA Times revealed just how deeply involved industry lobbyists and a controversial, industry-funded toxicologist were in drafting the federal agency's proposal to scrap its current, protective approach to regulating toxin exposure.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Steve Irwin poses with a three foot long alligator at the San Francisco Zoo on June 26, 2002. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

February 22 is the birthday of conservationist and beloved TV personality "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin, who would have been 57 years old today.

Irwin's life was tragically cut short when the barb from a stingray went through his chest while he was filming in 2006, but his legacy of loving and protecting wildlife lives on, most recently in a Google Doodle today honoring his birthday.

Read More Show Less
Left: Youtube / Screenshot, Right: alle12 / Getty Images

By Dan Nosowitz

That video showed the extrusion of a bubblegum-pink substance oozing into a coiled pile, something between Play-Doh, sausage and soft-serve strawberry ice cream. Branded "pink slime"—the name came from an email sent by a USDA microbiologist in 2002—this stuff was actually beef, destined for supermarkets and fast-food burgers.

Read More Show Less
Climate activist Greta Thunberg addresses the European Commission on Feb. 21 in Brussels, Belgium. Sylvain Lefevre / Getty Images

By Julia Conley

Sixteen-year-old climate action leader Greta Thunberg stood alongside European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker Thursday in Brussels as he indicated—after weeks of climate strikes around the world inspired by the Swedish teenager—that the European Union has heard the demands of young people and pledged a quarter of $1 trillion budget over the next seven years to address the crisis of a rapidly heating planet.

In the financial period beginning in 2021, Juncker said, the EU will devote a quarter of its budget to solving the crisis.

Read More Show Less