Cuts to Electric Vehicle and Clean Energy Tax Credits Will Undermine Growing Industries, Take Us Backward on Climate

Statement by Michelle Robinson, Union of Concerned Scientists

Published Nov 2, 2017

WASHINGTON (November 2, 2017)—The draft tax bill released today by the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee would eliminate the electric vehicle tax credit, axe the permanent 10 percent Investment Tax Credit for solar and geothermal power, and reduce the Production Tax Credit for wind power by more than a third. These provisions are just a few of the many reasons why this tax plan is a bad deal for Americans, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).

Below is a statement by Michelle Robinson, director of the Clean Vehicles Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

“This tax bill should be dead on arrival. It has a few powerful winners—the very wealthiest Americans and corporations—and it would leave millions worse off. 

“It’s a mistake for House leaders to target electric vehicles and renewable energy in this tax bill. These provisions show how little concern the authors of this bill have for the real-world consequences of their proposals.

“Electric vehicles are a new industry, and the electric vehicle purchase incentive has been a vital part of getting it off the ground. We should keep these incentives in place to make sure that more drivers can take advantage of the benefit of driving electric. Instead, this bill would drop the incentives completely and immediately, throwing the market into disarray.

“Weakening the PTC and ITC would reduce the number of wind and solar projects that get built, stalling the amazing progress the country’s made on shifting to cleaner sources of electricity. While building a wind project can take a year or less, the planning of those projects can take several years.  Taking away the inflation adjustment and commence construction provisions of the PTC could effectively pull the rug out from the large number of projects that are in advanced stages of development and the jobs, investments, and tax revenues in rural communities that go along with them.

“Taken together, these changes would increase pollution and undermine America’s leadership in energy innovation. We’d squander the progress we’ve made.

“This bill would set us back at a time when we need to build cleaner transportation and energy systems to fight climate change and create jobs that will last into the future. Ultimately, this tax plan is a bad deal for most Americans.”