Granholm to Electric Car Naysayers: 'Get Over It!
When I was governor of Michigan, we worked with private companies and the legislature to apply for federal government stimulus grants to be the place where the electric car, and its guts, the battery, would be built. Amazingly, we received 12 grants worth $1.35 billion -- more than half of the total awarded nationally. For just the lithium-ion battery alone, we were able to attract 18 companies to the state to build the various parts, with a potential boost of 63,000 jobs. That's 63,000 jobs!
I know the only reason those jobs were even possible is because the federal government, led by our president, made a commitment to battery technology. But as we've heard, there are huge challenges facing the industry. If we don't get this right, we'll lose a lot of those high paying, advanced manufacturing jobs. Forever.
That's where the government can do even more, with policies to encourage demand. George W. Bush created a tax break for SUVs, we should extend the one we have for electric cars. We need tax credits for these early electric vehicles until the price of making an electric vehicle comes down to the price for making a regular internal combustion engine. Not a permanent commitment -- but a glide path to energy independence, to jobs, to national security, to reducing climate change.
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