President Obama Proposes More Money for Green Energy

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?


  • CharlesF

    I would like to see a slow and steady increase in the gasoline tax and a transition to a carbon tax. Something along the lines of changing the current gas tax to an equivalent CO2 tax, then add $0.001 per kilo of CO2 per month for five years. A carbon tax should also be applied to electricity. Both carbon taxes should be used for infrastructure such as roads, bridges, bike lanes, pedestrian walkways and improvements to the electric grid. When we have enough green power that the carbon taxes are not paying for the infrastructure, then we need to change the tax to a power/carbon tax.

    The EV subsidies should end as scheduled. I hope Obama has learned a lesson in dealing with the GOP, that you start from a position more progressive than you care about, and not start from the wanted position. I think that is why the $10k number is being floated.

  • Darnelll

    I believe this is a good decision. I am not a political pundit, but an exorbitant number of things in America depend on oil, a majority of which is foreign, and it would make sense to run these things on another means of energy whether it be electric or hydrogen. I’d rather keep that money in America for American workers as well as keep the pollution from coal plants centralized and more contained rather than spewing it everywhere a vehicle goes. I don’t think America should ever be so dependent other countries for something that is so clutch to our infrastructure again.

    Electric cars are a new technology, but I plan in about 5 years or so for my next car to be an electric car or a hybrid.

  • usbseawolf2000

    I am all for green energy as long as they money is invested fairly across all types of green technology.

    What we have seen is all the money going into big (>4kWh) battery and nothing else. Government can’t choose pick winners and losers.

    Green technology means anything that reduces petroleum consumption and cut the greenhouse gas emission. That should be the measurement stick, not the size of the battery.

    For example, why is Fisker Karma getting 3x more tax incentive (on top of the loan) than Prius PHV? 95 MPGe / 50 MPG is not as good as 52 MPGe / 20 MPG?

  • Alexprime

    I think that incentives are great, but there has to be a limit to the price of the instrument. Like usbseawolf2000 said, it’s crazy that a Karma Fisker gets a bigger incentive than a Prius PHV. Granted this is because of the battery size, but I think that if people can afford 100K cars, they don’t need these incentives.

    By limiting the prices of cars eligible for the rebates to a generous 60K, you would still keep a lot of cars within the range (base level Tesla) but would also shut up those people complaining about ”giving taxpayer money to rich people who don’t need it”

    There should be a balance between battery capacity AND final mileage.

  • MrEnergyCzar

    They should make it a cash rebate for those that don’t earn enough to benefit from the 10K tax credit. Many people earn much less than the 90K you’d need to earn to benefit from the full credit..

    MrEnergyCzar

  • Jonas Blomberg

    A voice from Sweden: The future is Hydrogen-Plug-in EV hybrids. They would benefit from cheap electric short distance and economic hydrogen for long distances. Having both a big hydrogen tank and a big battery is a problem, but it could be solved. The necessary infrastructure should be subsidized.

  • Libertarian Don

    Great more government corruption! Give me money to get elected and I’ll get you a half billion dollar loan. Or a bailout.

    Why not allow investors to invest in renewables and not pay capital gains on those investments. This will stimulate development without the corruption.

    I’ll never understand why people who claim to be educated want to centralize all power in the federal government. History tells us where this leads.

    The big government Republicans (Bush) and Democrats (Obama) must go.

  • Anonymous

    FYI- Many types of “green technology” are garbage. Best to choose those which perform economically. You can’t save the world no matter how hard you try.

  • bartonbernard

    It is brilliant to get off fossil fuels immediately.We would have safer and calmer lives for all species.This is the only way to go since climate change caused by fossil fuel is making the planet uninhabitable too soon.air dryer

  • nichole turner

    This is great news that President Obama Proposes More Money for Green Energy. I truly liked your ideas of bringing electric vehicles on the road, this will definitely decreased the use of fuels which is very valuable for our future. boston acoustics

  • Be Solar Kathy

    We have a green energy invention. we would like to know how to apply for green energy money help our invention works.

  • kareenpadgette

    Its always great to listen Obama and the way he want to manage our country to get more and more success. I daily read his news and the blog related to him. He has really some brilliant ideas. Good post.
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  • Fredric

    I agree with you 110%. I wish the guys in charge sort of speak will realize that as soon as possible. There is no reason in destroying our planet more than we already have.
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  • Inkas

    Very interesting post
    Cheers

  • Gilbert Ocrone

    If that happens with the power companies I will tell you what comes next: Nationalization of all energy companies and the oil/coal/natural gas providers as well.
    Regards, open gloss

  • Gilbert Ocrone

    If that happens with the power companies I will tell you what comes next: Nationalization of all energy companies and the oil/coal/natural gas providers as well.
    Regards, open gloss

  • Jimmi Dexter

    I completely agree with you that we are facing the problem of scarcity of Fuels aso if we start using electric vehicles on the road, this will definitely decreased the use of fuels which is very valuable for the future of our country.This is really very informative post.I have bookmarked it for further reference.
    Regards,
    Jimmi Dexter
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