In February 2019, Senator John Barrasso, a Wyoming Republican who chairs the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, introduced a bill to end the federal tax credit for plug-in electric vehicles and establish a new “user fee of the annual road for all alternative fuel vehicles. Barrasso said the VE (Electric Vehicles) program “disproportionately subsidizes wealthy buyers.”
Barrasso justified the bill with arguments, many misleading, some demonstrably false. It should be noted that its affiliates are the Koch brothers: the billionaire petrochemical barons who have built a fortune in the transportation and refining of fossil fuels, regardless of how they mistreat the environment and the health of all.
Senator Barrasso’s bill is just one example of how the Koch brothers and their Big Oil allies are working to slow the country’s transition to electric cars. Several years ago, oil companies began to see EVs as a real threat to their businesses.
Gina Coplon-Newfield, Director of the clean transport campaign for all of the Sierra Club, notes that “VEs provide real benefits to the states, since their lower weight reduces road wear and their lack of exhaust emissions improves quality from the air and benefits public health. ”And states that for states really concerned about losing revenue from gas taxes to EVs, the increase in state gasoline taxes by a single penny would generate more money than the increase of registration fees for VEs.
David Arkush, General Director of the Public Citizen climate program comments: “The market for electric vehicles is growing extremely fast. They are popular, convenient and clean, and are becoming cheaper than conventional cars when maintenance costs are taken into account and fuel savings. “
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