The Biden administration is so enthusiastic to push electric and hybrid vehicles on the public that the Energy Department is offering $12 billion in grants and loans for automakers and suppliers to retrofit their plants, Reuters reported.
Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm recently made the announcement, telling reporters “While we transition to EVs, we want to ensure that workers can transition in place, that there is no worker, no community left behind.” Granholm is the former governor of car-manufacturing state of Michigan.
The Biden administration hopes to meet its goal of having EVs represent at least half of all new car sales in the U.S. by 2030. Besides EVs, the funding can be used for factories that make efficient hybrid, plug-in electric hybrid, plug-in electric drive and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.
The United Auto Workers (UAW) union just ended a six-week strike that cost automakers an estimated $10 billion, and Energy Department grants and loans to convert existing auto plants to build electric vehicles could help win them over.
The UAW previously warned that too quick of a change could put thousands of jobs at risk in states like Michigan, Ohio, Illinois and Indiana.
When the Energy Department announced its plan to lend $9.2 billion to a joint venture of Ford Motors and South Korea's SK On to build three U.S. battery plants, UAW President Shawn Fain called the loan a massive "giveaway" with "no consideration for wages, working conditions, union rights or retirement security" that would help create low-paying jobs adding, "Why is Joe Biden’s administration facilitating this corporate greed with taxpayer money?" Reuters reported.
The Inflation Reduction Act which was passed by Democrats last year, will fund $2 billion in grants and $10 billion in loans will come from the Energy Department's Loans Program Office.
Using $12 billion in taxpayer funds to prop up private, for-profit industry so they do the administration’s bidding is at least wasteful, if not unethical.
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