WASHINGTON (December 17, 2019)—The U.S. House of Representatives will vote today on a package to fund the federal government through 2020. The package extends some tax provisions that had expired but does not contain the additional tax incentives for clean energy and electric vehicles that would have made a down payment to address climate change.
Below is a statement by Ken Kimmell, the president of the Union of Concerned Scientists.
“Congress had an opportunity to make real climate progress by passing tax credits for clean energy and electric vehicles. According to a recent analysis, these tax incentives would have reduced U.S. climate change causing-emissions to 19 percent below 2005 levels. Instead, Congress is going to leave town without having made a meaningful investment in several technologies that reduce carbon emissions, such as energy storage, electric vehicles, wind and solar.
“Congress does not have the luxury of time to act. Every scientific report that comes out underscores the urgency. Every year that goes by without meaningful action to reduce our power and transportation sector emissions locks in additional dangerous climate change-driven impacts. A one-year extension of wind credits did make it in the package, but it is not enough. Doing nothing until 2021 is catastrophic for the climate and for the nation.
“Specifically, the omission of the energy storage and electric vehicle tax credits in the legislative package is extremely disappointing. Energy storage technology can help integrate large amounts of renewable energy onto the electric power grid, and we don’t get anywhere near a clean energy future without it. By not including the energy storage tax credit in their package, the House assures the continuation of the status quo favoring large baseload electricity from fossil fuel plants.
“Even more frustrating is the continued lack of federal leadership and support for electric vehicles. Electric vehicles are critical to reducing carbon emissions in the transportation sector. The existing electric vehicle tax credit has given the industry a foothold in the market, but these vehicles are not yet manufactured at scale and carry higher upfront price tags than conventional vehicles. Reducing what consumers pay for the vehicles is essential to widespread adoption. We had the opportunity to ensure that more consumers would get this benefit going forward, but it was reportedly blocked by the White House. Not getting the credit extended will unfortunately immediately impact some domestic manufacturers.”