Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Scott Perry and Transportation Sec. Pete Buttigieg got into a shouting match over electric vehicles Wednesday during a House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing.
“I want to pick up where we left off in July of 2022 regarding what I view as the administration’s anti-market policies in regard to EV’s. They are expensive, the grid is not, we’re building a second grid I guess on top of the grid we already have which is a huge cost and people are paying for that in their electric bills, the batteries have limited range and despite the subsidization, the market is literally not adopting EV’s, regardless of what we want to believe or what you want to say,” Perry said.
“There’s significant inflationary pressures and a glut of electric vehicles well beyond demand, and so if we consider the current UAW strike, the cost of living has eaten away at these folks ability to pay their grocery bill and their gas bill so they’re obviously and righteously and rightfully upset and the administration’s subsidization of the electric vehicles is killing their jobs,” Perry continued.
“I just wonder what you have to say to Michiganders who feel the federal government is using their very tax dollars to destroy their industry and their jobs?” Perry asked Buttigieg, who moved to Michigan in the summer of 2022.
Buttigieg said the administration is working to make sure the electric vehicle “revolution” happens in the United States rather than China. Perry interjecting, saying the so-called “revolution” is killing American jobs.
“Is your position that we’re gonna lose all these jobs, that’s what has to happen, or China’s gonna build all these vehicles? Is that the position?” Perry asked.
“One of the reasons we’ve seen manufacturing jobs grow so much in this administration compared to the manufacturing recession under the last administration is that we’re investing in American manufacturing —” Buttigieg explained.
“You’re investing with our money in things that we don’t want. You realize that forcing car companies to make these vehicles at a loss of about $60,000 per vehicle sold is damaging to the UAW’s jobs? In fact … [Ford’s] electric vehicle unit is expected to lose $4.5 billion this year which is up from $2.1 billion in losses last year. There’s a 92 day supply of electric vehicles which is twice that of the current average of the internal combustion or traditional car, and I would just remind everybody that electric vehicles were one of the first vehicles on the market back in the early 1900’s, but they were replaced by better technology,” Perry said.
“Mr. Secretary, the people I work for, my bosses, can’t afford what you’re forcing on them,” Perry said, citing the increase in cost for an electric vehicle. “These are not market forces. This is the government funding the destruction of our own automotive industry, and I hope you know that approximately two-thirds of EV owners make over $100,000 a year. My bosses don’t make that. I don’t know if you can justify forcing my constituents to pay for EVs and EV infrastructure for coastal elites and wealthy people, but somehow you do —”
“Well I need to point out that wealthy people were specifically excluded from the Inflation Reduction Act —”(RELATED: Top Biden Energy Official Says It’s Unsustainable To Replace Gas Cars With EV,s Suggests Ways To Decrease Driving)
“Well, I just gave you the number!” Perry shot back. “Do you dispute that two-thirds of EV owners are owned by people that make over $100,000. Do you dispute that?”
Buttigieg argued the number is going down, but Perry fired back, saying it doesn’t matter if they’re trending down because the people he is representing can’t afford them at the current time.
“Why were you against cutting their costs?” Buttigieg asked Perry.
“I’m not against cutting their costs. The market should do it, but you want the government, you want my taxpayers to pay to cut the cost, which isn’t cutting the costs.”
The two then got into a shouting match over the cost of electric vehicles before Perry yielded his remaining time.