Congress is kidnapping “environmental justice” to assist the wealthy, not the poor

An important part of President BidenJoe BidenFire, smoke, floods, droughts, storms, heat: America Needs a Climate Resilience Strategy Senator Susan Collins is slashing corporate tax rate of 28 percent and says jobs will be lost. The Biden economic advisor formulates the infrastructure plan as a necessary investment MOREThe agenda will be an attempt to reshape American energy policy. While Biden’s great ambitions to address climate change include high-level concepts such as “environmental justice” – a term supposedly denoting equitable benefits for underserved communities – it is clear that some parts of his plan will do just the opposite: average working families with more violate regulations and higher energy costs.

A prime example is the legislation in Congress, the Climate Leadership and Environmental Action for our Nation’s Future Act (CLEAN), which requires states “to consider approving measures to encourage the use of EV charging stations [and] This allows energy providers to recover from the investments made by interest payers, which encourage the continued use of charging systems for electric vehicles. ”

Proponents claim the proposal relates to protecting the interests of historically overburdened frontline communities. The reality, however, will be to pass on the cost of EV charging stations to utility companies in these communities. That cost would be a regressive tax that would place a disproportionate burden on working-class Americans – and benefit those with the means to buy electric cars.

It does not matter whether electric vehicles meet a demand or are a key component of the transport infrastructure. In laws like the CLEAN Future Act, the concept of “environmental justice” has been misused to help those who least need it. It will force poor people in underserved communities to pay for the EV infrastructure that wealthier Americans want for themselves.

That is hardly an exaggeration. Studies highlight the extent to which high-end electric vehicles can be found in the garages of the richest among us. The Congressional Research Service found that “[electric vehicle] Tax credits are disproportionately claimed by higher income taxpayers. Most tax credits (78 percent) are claimed by applicants with an Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) of $ 100,000 or more, and those claimants receive an even higher percentage (83 percent) of the amount of the credit applied for. ”

Similarly, in 2015, the Haas Energy Institute concluded that “the quintile with the highest income received about 90 percent of all loans”. More recently, the Pacific Research Institute analysis found that “79 percent of EV plug-in tax credits were claimed by households with adjusted gross income greater than $ 100,000 per year.”

In contrast, average Americans pay the bills for electric vehicles through tax grants and contribute $ 7,500 for every electric vehicle sold until each manufacturer hits a threshold of 200,000 units. The non-partisan Joint Tax Committee estimates the loan, in its current form, will cost taxpayers $ 7.5 billion between fiscal years 2018 and 2022.

The American Energy Alliance goes through how the provisions of this legislation would harm consumers: “If passed, the CLEAN Future Act would allow utility companies to evaluate the construction of EV charging stations, which means the cost of those charging stations are passed on to the utility customers as a whole. ”

The people most directly affected by the higher utility costs created by the CLEAN Future Act will not be powering Teslas. Instead, they will wonder how to keep their light on in living memory after one of the worst economic crises. Consumers with lower incomes are of course disproportionately affected by rising energy prices.

When considering providing charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, lawmakers should consider its costly consequences for its low-income and medium-sized voters. If the CLEAN Future Act were codified into law, the transfer of wealth from poorer interest payers to wealthier EV owners would create an “reverse Robin Hood” effect.

Wherever there is a deal with air conditioning, infrastructure, or electric vehicles, it should go without saying that hard-working Americans, whose economic prospects have been negatively affected by the depths of the coronavirus pandemic, should not be tricked into raising electricity bills Paying that richer Americans can charge their luxury electric cars in a cheaper location.

Mario H. Lopez is the president of the Hispanic Leadership Fund, a public advocacy organization that promotes freedom, opportunity, and prosperity for all Americans. Follow him on Twitter @MarioHLopez.