EVs and tax credits

EV World.com’s Bill Moore wrote an excellent article on electric vehicles (EVs) and taxes. A recent Wall St Journal article bemoaned the fact that there is a $7,500 tax credit for the GM Volt, the Nissan LEAF and other electric cars. Bill pointed out that conservatives should like the idea of reducing your tax burden, and that lots of others, often conservative corporate types, are in the welfare business.
“Now if Mr. Jenkins objects to that, then he should also be objecting to the major American corporations who, through slick tax accounting, not only don’t pay any taxes, but actually have figured out how to get the IRS to refund them OUR money. [See Shocking: Offshore tax havens of the US corporate elite on Raw Story.com.] Incidentally, one of these corporate welfare wagons happens to be Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., which owns the Wall Street Journal. So, much for objective journalism.

Now, I suppose the argument might be made, though it would be a very thin one, that by my not letting Uncle Sam keep my $7,500, I am depriving the government of much needed funding, forcing other taxpayers to make up the difference. Of course, Mr. Jenkins doesn’t mention that of the 100 largest public companies, 83 of them have offshore subsidiaries through which they funnel revenue to avoid paying what the Treasury Department estimates is at least $100 billion annually in lost tax receipts, according the Government Accounting Office. And some of these corporate welfare wagons are not only well-known names like Pepsi, Exxon, Dell, Kraft Foods, Boeing and Merck, but also bank bailout recipients: Bank of America, which received $45 billion; Citigroup, $45 billion; American Express, $3.4 billion; and Goldman Sachs, $10 billion, according to the Taxpayers for Common Sense watchdog group. [See Bailed-Out Firms Have Tax Havens, GAO Finds].
So, using tax dollars, or refunding taxes already withheld, to encourage good things, like solar panels, is in line with all sorts of government “tax policy” ideas. The Erie Canal, Bill notes, cost the feds [that’s us] $7 million and collected over $120 million in revenues,fees. A pretty good investment. Similarly, I argue, investing in EVs will return us money on this investment in the form of lower gasoline bills [electricity costs only 75 cents per gallon equivalent], lower trade deficits, better air quality, less global warming and more national security.

Kerry Lieberman climate bill introduced

Senator Kerry said some things that I agree with, including this: Second: We need energy made in America. Today we spend almost one billion dollars every day on foreign oil, much of which is sent to regimes that are hostile to our nation and our interests. That is money we should be investing here at home. The American Power Act invests in technology to harness domestic energy supplies and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
That would, of course, include electric vehicles and solar,wind and geothermal energies.afsolar1

And the Grand “unveiling” of the BugE at the Solar and Wind Expo.

Saturday, May 8, in Timonium, MD, just north of Baltimore at the Maryland Fairgrounds, where the ponies run in the Preakness, we held the Solar and Wind Expo, featuring 4 fine electric vehicles (EVs). The Tesla was there. The All-electric Toyota RAV 4, owned by EVADC’s Rob Neighbour was a hit. John Alder was there with his red EV conversion electric 2-wheeled motorcycle, a former gas Suzuki. And I was there with the BugE. It is not quite finished yet, but I had the main ingredients, enough to inspire others and spark lively questions from young and old. Here are some photos of the BugE and trailer. There will be more solar panels, soon.

The veiled BugE, sort of a teaser !

The veiled BugE, sort of a teaser !

NPR and Sierra club interviews – FunRun

Here is the web site for the Natl Public Radio interview:
5-7-10: Plug In, Turn On, Drive Out
Here is the Sierra Club interview
Charlie Garlow, a Sierra Club member from Silver Spring, Maryland owns a three-wheel electric motorcycle. Garlow is planning this summer to hitch a solar trailer to it and drive across the country with his dog Rex to raise awareness for EVs and renewable energy. His journey will probably launch after the EV drag race in June at the Mason Dixon Dragway in Hagerstown. Follow his progress on his website FunRunintheSun.org and his blog. This is the second of three interviews with EV owners. Read the first one here.
How did you get this electric motorcycle?


The BP oil spill isn’t the only one in recent history

Australia Nov 2009
An oil spill disaster that could rival the impact of the Exxon Valdez is playing out tonight off the coast of Australia. For 10 weeks, a crippled deep-water oil rig has been leaking millions of gallons into the ocean between Australia’s northwest coast and the islands of Indonesia.
With explosive gas spewing into the air and thousands of gallons of oil pouring into the water each day the spill began claiming sea snakes, birds and dolphins.

The blowout is thought to have been caused by a fracture in a pipe 8,000 feet beneath the sea floor. Again and again over two months the Thailand-based company that owns the rig tried and failed to plug the well.
Just how much has spilled is uncertain. Environmental groups say satellite photos show its spread across more than 9,000 square miles and estimate some 9 million gallons have poured into the ocean – nearly as much as the 11 million gallons that escaped from the Exxon Valdez in Alaska.

“There’s no cleanup technology available on earth to clean up a spill that big,” said Richard Charter of Defenders of Wildlife.
The oil company insists the spill is much smaller but refuses to give a number. Environmentalists monitoring the damage say flocks of sea birds, groups of whales, porpoises and sea turtles have been seen feeding near the oil. But the region is so large and so remote there is no count of wildlife killed or injured.

While the spill is far from American waters, it’s come at an awkward time for those pushing more offshore drilling here under the slogan, “Drill, baby, drill.”

And how about the two spills/blowouts in Nigeria.
“One of these investigations involved an incident at Iriama in Delta State in November 2008, in which around 6000 tonnes were spilled” after a pipeline that was undergoing repairs exploded, Shell said.

Operational spills in 2009 totaled 1300 tonnes, the lowest amount ever for the company, Shell said in a Dow Jones report.
Last year, 13,900 metric tonnes of oil were spilled into the Niger Delta as a direct result of sabotage or theft, more than double the 2008 total and four times the 2007 figure, Shell said in its annual sustainability report. Shell also quadrupled its estimate of the amount of oil it spilled in the region due to accidents in 2008 to 8800 tonnes following the completion of investigations.