West Virginia U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin took another swipe this week at the Biden administration and its proposed rulemaking for new clean vehicle tax credits in the Inflation Reduction Act.
“Regrettably, it appears that the Treasury has seriously misconstrued the plain language and clear purpose of the critical minerals and battery component requirements in subsection (e). Either that or the Treasury thinks it has a better approach than the one enacted by Congress,” wrote the Chairman of the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee in comments to the Treasury Department.
He pointed out how the Supreme Court has already admonished the Treasury Department that it doesn’t have the power to make law but the power to adopt regulations to carry out the will of Congress. Manchin said the proposed rule deviates from the will of Congress.
“The notice of proposed rulemaking asks for comments on the proposed regulations. My comment is simple: Follow the law.”
To read the full comments, please click here.
Timeline of Senator Manchin’s Work to Strengthen America’s Domestic Electric Vehicle Battery and Battery Component Supply Chain:
- On April 20, 2023, Senator Manchin convened an Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing to examine the President’s budget request for the U.S. Department of Energy for fiscal year 2024. During the hearing, Senator Manchin pressed Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm on the administration’s botched implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act, including the implementation of electric vehicle tax credits. Senator Manchin said in part: “The EV tax credits for cars, my personal belief is we didn’t need any. But with that being said, I said if we’re going to do it, let’s get something for it. And changing to electric [vehicles] when we had dependence on a foreign supply chain, mostly China — that doesn’t make any sense. So, we put this together saying $3,750 would come if you secured and sourced and do the processing in North America or countries with a free trade agreement. And then the other $3,750 would be for manufacturing the battery in North America… I am so upset about this because [the administration] is doing every they can to bust the budget, what we promised the American people that bill would cost.”
- On March 31, 2023, Senator Manchin released a statement following the Department of the Treasury’s release of EV tax credit guidance. Senator Manchin wrote in part:“Yet again – the guidance released by the Department of the Treasury completely ignores the intent of the Inflation Reduction Act. It is horrific that the Administration continues to ignore the purpose of the law which is to bring manufacturing back to America and ensure we have reliable and secure supply chains.”
- On March 10, 2023, Senator Manchin published an op-ed in The Houston Chronicle discussing Senator Manchin’s dissatisfaction with the way the Inflation Reduction Act is being implemented. Senator Manchin wrote in part: “For example, the Department of Treasury has grossly mishandled the implementation of the electric vehicle tax credits designed to curtail China’s dominance over this critical industry. Instead of abiding by the law, the department pandered to climate activists. With this in mind, I was unable to support Danny Werfel, the administration’s nominee to serve as commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service.”On March 9, 2023, Senator Manchin responded to comments from White House Senior Adviser John Podesta that Chinese companies will be “big players” in growing domestic energy production using the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and the Chips and Science Act. Senator Manchin wrote in part: “It is beyond irresponsible for someone speaking on behalf of the White House to not only condone but also advocate for sending American tax dollars to Chinese companies. That is not consistent with either the IRA or the CHIPS + Science Act, which had widespread bipartisan support due to concerns about Chinese supply chains. These words are especially concerning as rumors circulate about the Administration thoughtlessly considering opening up the EV credit’s eligibility beyond our free trade agreement partners and allow the laundering of Chinese minerals and materials through Trojan horse agreements.”
- On February 2, 2023, Senator Manchin joined a group of bipartisan Senate colleagues to send a letter to Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland urging the Secretary to reconsider adding copper as an official U.S. Geological Survey Critical Mineral. Electric vehicles and vehicle batteries require copper, and adding copper to the critical mineral list would help ensure a secure and reliable domestic supply chain.
- On February 2, 2023, Senator Manchin, Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, convened a hearing to examiner the Department of Energy’s implementation of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. During the hearing, Senator Manchin questioned the Deputy Secretary of Energy about Chinese influence in America’s electric vehicle battery supply chain.
- On January 26, 2023, Senator Manchin took to the Senator floor to ask for unanimous consent to pass his bipartisan American Vehicle Security Act (AVSA), legislation introduced in response to the U.S. Department of Treasury’s failure to release guidance to implement electric vehicle tax credits by the deadline required in the Inflation Reduction Act(IRA). The AVSA would fulfill Congressional intent by ensuring the 30D new consumer vehicle tax credit is only made available according to the IRA by requiring compliance with battery manufacturing and critical mineral sourcing requirements as of January 1, 2023.
- On January 25, 2023, Senator Manchin introduced the American Vehicle Security Act (AVSA) to to direct the U.S. Department of Treasury to implement the new 30D consumer vehicle tax credits for vehicles according to the law by requiring compliance with battery and battery material sourcing requirements as of January 1, 2023.
- On December 29, 2022, Senator Manchin released a statement urging the U.S. Department of the Treasury to pause the implementation of the 45W commercial vehicle and 30D new consumer vehicle tax credits until Treasury is able to issue guidance in line with the intent of the Inflation Reduction Act to onshore supply chains, protect our national security, reduce our dependence on foreign supply chains and create U.S. jobs.
- On December 13, 2022, Senator Manchin sent a letter to U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen calling on Secretary Yellen to release guidance that ensures Section 45W Qualified Commercial Clean Vehicle Credits — included in the Inflation Reduction Act — are intended only for commercial use.
- On December 13, 2022, Senator Manchin, Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, convened a full committee hearing to examine the Department of the Interior’s implementation of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. During the hearing, Senator Manchin questioned Deputy Secretary of the Interior Tommy Beaudreau about the Bureau of Land Management’s delay in permitting critical minerals projects.
- On April 7, 2022, Senator Manchin, Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, convened a full committee hearing on the scope and scale of critical mineral demand and recycling of critical minerals. Senator Manchin highlighted the need to responsibly develop a domestic critical minerals supply chain to meet growing demand and ensure America’s energy and national security
- On March 31, 2022, Senator Manchin, Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, convened a full committee hearing to discuss the opportunities and challenges facing domestic critical mineral mining, processing, refining and reprocessing. Senator Manchin called for a North American energy alliance that would utilize our manufacturing base and leverage our relationships with friendly nations, like Australia and Canada, to ensure that their critical minerals are sent here for processing instead of China.
- On December 21, 2020, Senator Manchin, serving as Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, announced that the Energy Act of 2020 would be included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. The Energy Act of 2020 was the first comprehensive, all-of-the-above update to our nation’s energy policies in 13 years that included the American Mineral Security Act to reduce the United States’ reliance on foreign minerals and
- On July 16, 2019, Senator Manchin’s Rare Earth Element Advanced Coal Technology Act (REEACT) passed out of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. The bill would allow for the development of technology capable of extracting rare earth elements from coal and coal by-products to re-establish a U.S.-based supply chain.
Source: Manchin release