Scoop: Democrats Meet With Ford Exec To Accelerate EV Talks

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Scoop: Democrats Meet With Ford Exec To Accelerate EV Talks

Bill Ford Jr.the executive chairman of Ford enginemet with Senate Democrats Thursday to stress the importance of supporting U.S. manufacturing of electric vehicles, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Meeting with auto titan Ford comes as Democrats face a narrowed window to pass President Biden’s stalled budget reconciliation bill, which would extend and expand tax credits for Americans who buy electric vehicles instead of gasoline consumers.

Ford, the great-grandson of the company’s founder Henry Fordaddressed the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee during his lunch Thursday, according to the two individuals, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

A spokesperson for Senator Debbie Stabenow (Mich.), who chairs the committee, told The Climate 202 that Ford spoke extensively at lunch “about electric vehicles and manufacturing.” The spokesperson declined to comment further.

When approached by The Climate 202 outside of the meeting, Ford declined to comment. In an email, the Ford spokeswoman Melissa Miller confirmed that the president discussed electric vehicles with Democrats yesterday, in addition to meeting with the Republican Meaning. Marsha Blackburn and Bill Hagerty about a Electric vehicle manufacturing plant in their home state of Tennessee.

“Bill was pleased to engage with senators from both sides of the aisle to discuss Ford’s commitment to leading the electric vehicle revolution,” Miller said. “He appreciated Senator Stabenow’s invitation to speak at the Democratic Caucus Working Luncheon and the opportunity to meet with Senators Blackburn and Hagerty to discuss the latest developments regarding Blue Oval City, Tennessee.”

Those last weeks, Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (DN.Y.) and Senator Joe Manchin III (DW.Va.) have met several times to work out a possible agreement on the reconciliation bill. Both men attended the Democrat Luncheon.

Asked about his discussions with Schumer about the electric vehicle incentive after the meeting, Manchin told The Climate 202, “Everything was respectful. … Not much is happening.

According to the version of the reconciliation bill passed by the House last year, consumers who buy most electric vehicles would receive a tax credit of $7,500, and consumers who buy an electric vehicle made by workers union members in the United States would receive an additional credit of $4,500.

The credit expires after an automaker has sold 200,000 qualifying vehicles. Ford, Nissan and Toyota will likely soon exceed that threshold unless Congress intervenes.

Senate Finance Chair Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), whose panel has jurisdiction over tax policy, said he was confident Thursday that Manchin would ultimately support extending the incentive for electric vehicles.

“Of the three areas that Senator Manchin is most interested in, one of them is energy and climate,” Wyden told The Climate 202, adding that the other two are prescription drugs and escapism. tax. “And I’ve told him about each of them many, many times.”

However, Manchin has publicly expressed concern about the bonus credit for union-made electric vehicles, saying it would discriminate against automakers whose employees are not unionized. He also said he wanted to lower the income thresholds for consumers to access EV credit, so that the subsidy does not primarily benefit wealthy households.

A person familiar with the matter said the bonus credit for union-made electric vehicles would likely be dropped from any eventual deal, while the revenue cap issue will need to be resolved.

“That’s kind of the basic assumption,” the person said.

Biden has set an ambitious goal for half of all new vehicles sold in the United States to be electric by 2030. But reaching that goal will require convincing more Americans that electric vehicles are affordable, by more to create a national network of charging stations.

While EVs often have a higher list price than gas-powered cars, they are cheaper to operate due to lower fuel and maintenance costs, especially as gas prices rise to 5 $ per gallon in much of the country.

Most electric vehicle models are cheaper to own on a monthly basis the day they are driven from the field, according to a recent analysis by Energy innovationa San Francisco-based climate and energy think tank.

But “this conclusion really depends on the federal tax credit”, Robbie Orvissenior director of energy policy design at Energy Innovation, told The Climate 202.

“If we don’t have that $7,500 tax credit,” he said, “that narrative is turned upside down.”

Senator Rosen says Congress must provide more money to Biden to save the solar industry

Senator Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), one of the most vocal advocates of solar power on Capitol Hill, told The Climate 202 on Thursday that she was pushing for Congress to allocate more money to President Biden use the Defense Production Act to keep the US solar industry going.

“I fully support additional funding for the Defense Production Act,” Rosen said. “We need to be sure whether it’s through the banking committee, the credit committee or even reconciliation, that we find that funding.”

Biden on Monday invoked the Defense Production Act to boost domestic clean energy companies, including U.S. solar panel and cell makers, which have been rocked by a Commerce Department survey of solar panels in four Southeast Asian countries.

The president also waived crushing tariffs on some foreign-made panels for two years. While many solar energy advocates welcomed the move, some domestic manufacturers questioned whether Biden had the necessary authority under the 1930 Tariff Act, raising the prospect of legal challenges.

“We believe the president has the authority to do that…and any litigation would be dismissed,” Rosen said. “But I guess we’ll wait and see that.”

Zinke wins Republican primary in Montana

ryan zinkewho led the Interior Department below President Donald Trump before resigning under a cloud of ethical investigations, is expected to win the Republican nomination for the new Montana House seat, our colleague Hannah Knowles reports.

Zinke prevailed despite claims that his wife’s primary residence is in California. He is heavily favored to win in November in a state Trump won by 16 points in the 2020 presidential election.

As Secretary of the Interior from 2017 to 2018, Zinke took many steps to boost US fossil fuel production under Trump’s “energy dominance” agenda.

Explosion at Texas LNG plant increases pressure on global energy market

An explosion at Freeport LNG The facility in Texas on Wednesday could knock the main natural gas plant off the grid for at least three weeks, company officials said Thursday, adding pressure to an already volatile global energy market, according to The Post. . Jacob Bogage reports.

A prolonged shutdown of the plant, which accounts for 20% of liquefied natural gas processing in the United States and is a huge exporter to Britain and the European Union, could have a significant impact on energy prices as markets brace for a surge in summer demand and the EU begins to wean itself off Russian crude oil.

“The world was already on the brink, so to speak, for global LNG supply and demand, and the Freeport incident, I wouldn’t say it’s pushing the world to the brink, but I think a little closer,” said Alex Muntonglobal gas and liquefied natural gas director at Rapidan Energy Group.

The average price of gasoline exceeds $5 per gallon

The average cost of gasoline in the United States topped $5 a gallon for the first time on Thursday, according to the gasoline prices website GasBuddy, Rachel Frazin reports for the Hill.

The unprecedented increase comes after months of pain for drivers at the pump due to inflation, the coronavirus pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Meanwhile, as the country gears up for summer, gas demand is expected to increase and put further pressure on prices.

In a bid to demonstrate to voters that they are working to cut costs, Democrats have sought to blame oil companies for alleged price hikes as they rake in record profits. And a majority of drivers agree, Abha Bhattarai and Jacob Bogage report for La Poste.

According to a recent Post-Schar school surveyAmericans cite multiple factors for rising gas prices and cutting their budgets, with 72% blaming business, 69% blaming war, and 58% blaming President Biden and the pandemic.

World leaders have made big climate promises. They have trouble keeping up.

Last fall, world leaders pledged faster action to tackle climate change at the COP26 climate summit in Scotland. But now, even as extreme weather events fueled by global warming plague parts of the world, meeting those pledges has proven difficult, The Post’s Brady Dennis reports.

Although scientists have repeatedly warned that inaction could lead to irreversible climate catastrophe, many policymakers and environmentalists fear that immediate crises, such as the war in Ukraine and the pandemic, could hamper the ability of leaders to act against global warming. There are only a few months left until the next The United Nations climate conference, advocates are unsure when or if these promises will translate into concrete implementation.

At a climate change conference in Bonn this week, world climate delegates tried to create a roadmap to help the world meet its climate goals, but no new big deal is expected from it. the meeting.

“We need to move these negotiations forward faster. The world is waiting for him Patricia Espinosaexecutive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, said in Bonn. “It is not acceptable to say that we are going through difficult times – they know that climate change is not an agenda we can afford to push back on our global calendar.”

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