In his proposed budget yesterday, President Obama called for a host of economic changes, among which is a recommendation for more spending for green initiatives and an increase in the plug-in electric vehicle subsidy to as much as $10,000 per vehicle.
Also in the mix was a repeat of his request to slash gas and oil subsidies as part of his blueprint to wean the country away from petroleum dependence, and toward an all-of-the-above energy menu.
The broader document however was immediately dismissed by political opponents, and said by the Wall Street Journal as having zero chances of being passed.
Being perceived as such, the budget proposal was treated as fodder by right-leaning and conservative pundits to rip apart Obama’s support for many initiatives, including subsidies for electric cars.
While the president continues to push for one million electric vehicles on the road by 2015, his efforts are simultaneously being fought by determined opponents on many fronts.
Included in these is legislation introduced just before the end of last year by Republican U.S.
Rep. Mike Kelly, who is proposing not an increase, but an early end to consumer tax credits for plug-in vehicle purchases altogether.
Kelly is himself a GM dealer in an area of Pennsylvania outside of Pittsburgh, and ran for congress after GM attempted to close part of his family business during its bankruptcy restructuring. He has since become an outspoken critic of the Chevy Volt, and the subsidies granted to jump start sales for this and other plug-in vehicles.
As for Obama’s progressive proposal, it would also boost discretionary funds for the U.S. Department of Energy by 3.2 percent, or $27.2 billion to further augment greener energy.
But whether these and the plug-in tax credit go as Obama hopes or instead see their progress eroded could be anyone’s guess this election year.
As followers of advanced-tech vehicles know, the premise behind subsidies is to help green industries get up to a level of being self sustaining. It has been said to be an ostensibly noble plan, but is the effort to reach sustainability itself sustainable in light of pressing challenges?
Do you think EV subsidies are a good idea? Would you do anything different than is being done or is being proposed?