As Key GOP Senator Threatens to End the Electric Vehicle Tax Credit, Heller’s Inaction Wears Thin

Sen. Dean Heller sat on the sidelines this week while the GOP chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee introduced irresponsible legislation to end the federal tax incentive for electric vehicles. More than a month ago, Heller claimed he was “preparing legislation” to extend the EV tax credit. Despite taking no action of his own in the last month like he promised, Heller has also declined to support a new Senate bill to extend the EV tax credit introduced by Senators Jeff Merkley and Catherine Cortez Masto. That Senate bill is a companion to legislation Congresswoman Jacky Rosen helped introduce in the House in June.

Now would be the time for Heller to take action instead of bragging to the press about something he hasn’t even done… but maybe he’s too worried about offending the Koch network to stand up for what’s right.

Roll Call: Tax Break for Electric Vehicles in the Crosshairs

The chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee unveiled legislation Tuesday to end the $7,500 tax incentive for electric vehicles.

The yet-unnumbered bill comes as a United Nations report on climate change, released over the weekend, outlined dire consequences for the planet in the absence of global action to drastically reduce carbon output over the next decade.

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Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., was rumored to be working on legislation to extend the tax credit, mainly as a way to bolster the electric vehicle industry, led by Palo Alto, Calif.-based Tesla Inc. that has a major manufacturing facility in his state.

The tax incentive has been a major driver of the adoption of electric vehicles. The Electric Drive Transportation Association estimates that more than 700,000 have been sold in the U.S. since 2010.

Senate Democrats, led by Jeff Merkley of Oregon, Martin Heinrich of New Mexico and Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada, introduced their own electric vehicle-focused legislation in September that would extend the tax credit by 10 years. The bill would also eliminate the federal cap that limits manufacturers to applying the credit to a maximum of 200,000 vehicles, which many domestic companies could hit as early as this year.