West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin on Friday criticized Treasury’s guidance for what he said “completely ignores” the law’s intent of U.S. energy security and reducing dependence on foreign adversaries such as China for battery materials and manufacturing.
“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,” Manchin said in a statement. “American tax dollars should not be used to support manufacturing jobs overseas. It is a pathetic excuse to spend more taxpayer dollars as quickly as possible and further cedes control to the Chinese Communist Party in the process.”
Manchin, who chairs the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, earlier this week also threatened legal action against the department over how it decides to interpret the EV battery sourcing rules.
“I think they’re going to try to screw me on this, and I’m willing to go to court,” Manchin, the Democrat who helped craft the EV tax credits, said at an industry event here Wednesday. “I’m willing to stop it all.”
In December, Manchin also blasted Treasury’s preliminary guidance that EVs leased by consumers could qualify for the commercial clean vehicle credit, known as 45W, which is not subject to the same eligibility restrictions as the 30D credit.
The 45W credit is limited to $7,500 for vehicles weighing less than 14,000 pounds and $40,000 for all other vehicles. While the credit does not transfer directly to the consumer or lessee, it could be used by the lessor, or leasing entity, to lower lease prices.
While provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act aim to foster a domestic EV supply chain and bring jobs to the U.S., China still dominates the processing and refining of key battery minerals.
China “owns or controls about 60-plus percent of the production of critical minerals around the world, and it also has about 80-plus percent of processing around the world,” Jose Fernandez, undersecretary for economic growth, energy and the environment at the U.S. State Department, said Tuesday at an event here. “They have a chokehold on many of these minerals.”
He said the U.S. is working with its allies and partners on building strong and secure supply chains for critical minerals while also focusing on domestic sourcing and production.