Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Koch Industries Lobbies Against Electric Vehicle Tax Credit

Renewable Energy
Koch Industries Lobbies Against Electric Vehicle Tax Credit
Max Pixel

By Dana Drugmand

Koch Industries is calling for the elimination of tax credits for electric vehicles (EVs), all while claiming that it does not oppose plug-in cars and inviting the elimination of oil and gas subsidies that the petroleum conglomerate and its industry peers receive.

Outgoing Nevada Republican Senator Dean Heller introduced a bill in September that would lift the sales cap on electric vehicles eligible for a federal tax credit, and replace the cap with a deadline that would dictate when the credit would start being phased out.


Under the current tax credit for EVs, once a manufacturer sells 200,000 EVs in the U.S. the amount of the credit gets slashed in half, then halved again. The full credit amount is $7,500. Tesla has already hit the 200,000 cap and GM will soon reach it, so both companies would benefit from a tax credit extension via eliminating the sales cap. Heller's bill lifts the 200,000 vehicle limit and substitutes a phase-out period starting in 2022.

But the conservative senator's bill is facing opposition from the conservative billionaire Koch brothers.

In a letter to senators dated Oct. 24, Koch Industries lobbyist Philip Ellender urges opposition to the expansion of EV tax credits through 2022. Ellender claims that the tax credits primarily benefit wealthy consumers and that subsidization interferes with "innovation and consumer choice."

The letter cites two studies, each by a right-wing think tank. One study comes from the Pacific Research Institute, which has received fossil fuel funding—including more than $1.7 million from Koch-related foundations and $615,000 from ExxonMobil. The PRI study, "Costly Subsidies for the Rich: Quantifying the Subsidies Offered to Battery Electric Powered Cars," emphasizes that "the majority of the dollar benefits from energy and electric car subsidies are paid to tax filers in the higher income tax brackets."

The other study is from the Manhattan Institute, another "free market think tank" that takes in money from the Koch network and Exxon. The study paints a misleading picture of EVs and their subsidies.

In addition to citing biased studies by groups tied to Koch money, Ellender claims in the letter, "We do not oppose electric vehicles."

This sentiment echoes the company's 2016 advertorial, in which Koch Industries claimed to be "all for electric vehicles."

Ellender also claims that Koch Industries is against any and all energy subsidies, even ones that benefit the company. According to the letter:

Instead of expanding this subsidy for wealthy EV owners, Congress should eliminate it along with all other energy incentives—including eliminating any incentives given to us and our competitors where we may participate. We are focused on long-term value creation, not short-term windfalls.

In reality, while Koch Industries is claiming publicly to support ending fossil fuel subsidies (along with EV and clean energy incentives), Koch lobbyists have long worked to ensure that the petroleum industry continues to get subsidized.

As Koch vs. Clean previously pointed out, "In a detailed 2011 report on Koch Industries, the Center for Public Integrity wrote: 'Oil is the core of the Koch business empire, and the company's lobbyists and officials have successfully fought to preserve the industry's tax breaks and credits.' The report documented that Koch lobbyists have worked to preserve billions of dollars in oil industry subsidies, including the Section 199 manufacturing tax deduction and the 'last-in, first out' accounting rule."

In fact, according to the International Business Times, Koch Industries has itself directly secured subsidies totaling more than $195 million.

The Koch network also lobbied for the Trump tax cuts that became law late last year. The corporate tax cut is not specific to energy, but it benefits giant corporations including Big Oil and Koch Industries nonetheless. Americans for Tax Fairness estimated that the Kochs would save more than $1 billion just this year from the tax cut—a significant windfall for a corporate behemoth that claims, "We are focused on long-term value creation, not short-term windfalls."

Reposted with permission from our media associate DeSmogBlog.

Project goal: To create an environmentally friendly and sustainable alternative to leather, in this case using fungi.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Plastic waste is bulldozed at a landfill. Needpix

The plastic recycling model was never economically viable, but oil and gas companies still touted it as a magic solution to waste, selling the American public a lie so the companies could keep pushing new plastic.

Read More Show Less

Trending

54% of parents with school-age children expressed concern that their children could fall behind academically, according to a poll conducted over the summer of 2020. Maria Symchych-Navrotska / Getty Images

By Pamela Davis-Kean

With in-person instruction becoming the exception rather than the norm, 54% of parents with school-age children expressed concern that their children could fall behind academically, according to a poll conducted over the summer of 2020. Initial projections from the Northwest Evaluation Association, which conducts research and creates commonly used standardized tests, suggest that these fears are well-grounded, especially for children from low-income families.

Read More Show Less
A teenager reads a school English assignment at home after her school shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic on March 22, 2020 in Brooklyn, New York. Andrew Lichtenstein / Corbis via Getty Images

The pandemic has affected everyone, but mental health experts warn that youth and teens are suffering disproportionately and that depression and suicide rates are increasing.

Read More Show Less
In an ad released by Republican Voters Against Trump, former coronavirus task force member Olivia Troye roasted the president for his response. Republican Voters Against Trump / YouTube

Yet another former Trump administration staffer has come out with an endorsement for former Vice President Joe Biden, this time in response to President Donald Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch