Washington, D.C.—In response to the introduction of the Driving America Forward Act of 2019, Robbie Diamond, President and CEO of Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) issued the following statement:
“The automotive industry is standing on the cusp of a seismic shift toward an electrified future—a future that is currently being led from Beijing. As a result, we are encouraged by the introduction of policies such as the Driving America Forward Act, which spur the consumer uptake of electric vehicles, and ensure we win the race for global EV leadership and energy security.”
The bipartisan bill, sponsored by Sen. Stabenow (D-MI) and co-sponsored by Sens. Alexander (R-TN), Collins (R-ME) and Peters (D-MI), extends the total number of electric vehicles (EVs) that would be eligible for the federal EV tax credit from 200,000 vehicles per manufacturer to 600,000.
“Providing greater fuel choice represents one of our greatest opportunities to precipitate a lasting shift away from dependence on OPEC-manipulated oil markets for our dominant transport fuel. As the U.S. military spends at least $81 billion every year to police oil supply lines, and U.S. consumers continue to struggle when oil prices spike, decoupling our transport sector from oil has tremendous long-term economic and national security benefits,” Diamond said.
“The tax incentive has been incredibly helpful to drive consumer demand of a new technology, which is crucial in its early stages. Reforming this credit is vital to ensure that first movers are not penalized for leading on this new technology, and the EV market is not distorted by having some manufacturers benefit from the credit while others do not,” Diamond added.
Accounting for one-fifth of daily global supply, the United States is the world’s largest oil consumer; 70 percent of which is used to power a transport system that is 92 percent dependent on oil. Even as the United States reaches historic highs in oil production, the uniquely global nature of oil pricing—in which a disruption in supply anywhere affects prices everywhere—means the United States will always be exposed to oil price volatility, regardless of how much oil we produce. EVs represent one of America’s best opportunities to enhance U.S. energy security, by decoupling our transportation network from oil price volatility.
Electricity is America’s strongest alternative to gasoline in the near term, and provides EVs with a low-cost, domestically-produced fuel source that is diverse in source and stable in price. The cost to fuel an EV is approximately half that of its conventional gasoline counterpart—generating meaningful savings for American households and businesses. EVs also benefit the broader U.S. economy and federal budget: Between 1970 and 2015 alone, $3.4 trillion was transferred from the United States to foreign oil producers simply to account for oil price inflation by OPEC.
About Securing America’s Future Energy
Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) is an action-oriented, nonpartisan organization that aims to reduce America’s dependence on oil. Near-total dependence on petroleum in the transportation sector undermines the nation’s economic and national security, and constrains U.S. foreign policy. To combat these threats, SAFE advocates for expanded domestic production of U.S. oil and gas resources, continued improvements in vehicle fuel efficiency, and transportation sector innovations including electric vehicles, natural gas trucks, and autonomous vehicles. In 2006, SAFE joined with General P.X. Kelley (Ret.), 28th Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, and Frederick W. Smith, Chairman, President, and CEO of FedEx Corporation, to form the Energy Security Leadership Council (ESLC), a group of business and former military leaders committed to reducing the United States’ dependence on oil. Today, the ESLC is co-chaired by Frederick W. Smith and General James T. Conway (Ret), 34th Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps.
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