Manchin bill would pause EV tax credit payouts

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Proposed Minnesota nickel mine drives the EV debate

FOX Business’ Connell McShane reports from Tamarack, Minnesota, where a small town is fighting for the establishment of a nickel mine amid a shortage of the mineral.

Sen. Joe Manchin on Wednesday introduced legislation that is aimed at eliminating a delay in adding new restrictions to the consumer tax credit for electric vehicles. 

The West Virginia Democrat took a shot at the Treasury Department and its move to temporarily delay the stipulations regarding the manufacturing and sourcing of minerals for EV batteries.

"It is unacceptable that the U.S. Treasury has failed to issue updated guidance for the 30D electric vehicle tax credits and continues to make the full $7,500 credits available without meeting all of the clear requirements included in the Inflation Reduction Act," the senator said in a statement. "The Treasury Department failed to meet the statutory deadline of December 31, 2022, to release guidance for the 30D credit and have created an opportunity to circumvent stringent supply chain requirements included in the IRA."

Manchin, the chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said he had introduced the American Vehicle Security Act to direct the department to implement the 30D new vehicle tax credits for vehicles according to the law by requiring compliance with battery and battery material sourcing requirements as of Jan. 1, 2023. 

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Sen. Joe Manchin during a panel session at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, on Jan. 19, 2023. (Stefan Wermuth/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)

"The IRA is first-and-foremost an energy security bill, and the EV tax credits were designed to grow domestic manufacturing and reduce our reliance on foreign supply chains for the critical minerals needed to produce EV batteries," he continued, saying it is "shameful" that the U.S. relies "so heavily on foreign suppliers, particularly China, for the batteries that power our electric vehicles."

Manchin said the country could not continue "down this path." 

Electric vehicles at a Tesla Supercharger location at a Hilton hotel in Bozeman, Montana, on July 20, 2022. (Louise Johns/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)

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"I’ve said it before, and it bears repeating that we can’t have national security without energy security and energy independence. The IRA and the EV tax credits must be implemented according to the Congressional intent to ensure the United States, as the superpower of the world, is not beholden to countries that don’t share our values," he concluded. 

The Treasury Department building in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 19, 2023. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images / Getty Images)

The Treasury Department said in December that guidance on implementation – which is necessary for them to take effect – would not be ready until March. 

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The legislation expanded tax credits for electric vehicles, permitting consumers to get up to $7,500 split across two credits from the federal government for a new car. 

Stipulations in the Inflation Reduction Act required that at least half of the value of the battery components be manufactured or assembled in North America in order to be eligible for a $3,750 credit. 

FOX Business' Gary Gastelu contributed to this report.

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