What will it take to advance U.S. production of advanced energy vehicles?
President Obama is expected to announce today plans to increase his push for electric and alternative-fueled vehicles, reports National Journal.
The White House will likely share plans to provide funding for communities to build alternative-fuel infrastructure, create tax credits for alternative-fuel vehicles, support related research and development, and other initiatives to spur and production and purchases of eco-friendly vehicles.
According to Coral Davenport of the National Journal, this announcement is likely more about politics than policy:
“The political timing of the announcement may be the most significant thing about it. While President Obama has always offered full-throated support for electric cars, he won’t be able to enact most of his policy proposals without action from Congress, which is locked in partisan gridlock on energy and just about everything else.
And Republicans have recently increased attacks on Obama’s support of electric cars, as GM announced it is temporarily suspending production of the all-electric Chevy Volt, due to limited demand.”
Davenport is right, but there is also another roadblock preventing the U.S. from being a key player in the alternative-fuel vehicle market: China. Advanced energy vehicles will never get off the ground unless the Administration aggressively pushes back on China.
For example, according to a recent report released by the Stewart and Stewart law firm, China did not make the Volt eligible for a massive consumer incentive in China because it is not Chinese-made. This is just one of the many ways in which China is actively attempting to stymie American auto industry sales.
It’s time for Congress and the administration to address the host of illegal and predatory trade policies and other regulations being employed by China, and level the playing field for American manufacturers and their workers. If they don’t, President Obama’s so-called push for alternative-fuel vehicles will remain nothing more than rhetoric.
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