Manchin is threatening to sue the US Treasury over electric vehicle tax credit rules

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senate Energy Committee Chairman Joe Manchin said on Wednesday he could go to court after the US Treasury Department released guidance on battery procurement for electric vehicle tax credits later this week.

“If it gets out of hand” and goes against the intent of the climate bill passed in August, “I will do everything I can – if that means going to court, and I can do it, I would do it,” said Manchin. a democrat.

Manchin said he is most concerned about how the Treasury Department will classify processing and manufacturing in determining eligibility for $7,500 EV tax credits. Manchin, who has often pushed fossil fuel industry interests in Congress, says he is trying to move the electric vehicle battery supply chain out of China. His political opponents say he doesn’t like the EV industry.

“Manufacturing is to bring manufacturing back to the United States. It doesn’t basically allow anyone to place all the parts and build everything you can for that battery somewhere else and then send it here for assembly,” Manchin told reporters.

Reuters earlier reported that Treasury rules on procuring batteries for electric vehicle tax credits due by Friday will result in fewer vehicles being eligible for full or partial credits.

The EV rules are part of a $430 billion law passed by Democrats in August to cut climate emissions and reduce drug costs, called the Inflation Reduction Act.

The Treasury declined to comment on Manchin’s comments.

Under the new rules, 50% of the value of battery components must be manufactured or assembled in North America for EV buyers to be eligible for a $3,750 credit, and 40% of the value of critical minerals must be sourced from a U.S. country which it has a free trade agreement to qualify for another $3,750 loan.

These rates are increasing by 10 percentage points annually.

China dominates the global supply chains of products like EV batteries and solar panels.

Manchin hammered out the Biden administration, which he paralyzed in legislative negotiations last year, in a Wall Street Journal op-ed piece Wednesday, accusing it of frustrating the bill’s original intent.

“Rather than implement the law as intended, unelected ideologues, bureaucrats and commissioners seem determined to flout and subvert the law in order to advance a partisan agenda that ignores both energy and tax security… The government is trying at every turn, wanted to implement the law, not the law that Congress actually passed.

Manchin also called on Biden to “sit down with fiscally-minded Republicans and Democrats to negotiate sensible reforms for runaway fiscal policies.”

The White House has no immediate comment.

(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Heather Timmons and Stephen Coates)

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