A leading Democrat who has been a frequent critic of his party’s and the Biden administration’s rapid move to impose their “green energy” agenda railed at the president on Wednesday following an announcement that the government would be loaning Ford Motor Co. billions to build three battery plants for electric vehicles.
The U.S. Department of Energy is loaning Ford and its partner $9.2 billion to construct the trio of EV plants in Tennessee and Kentucky, the Washington Examiner reported Thursday. The report said the plan is to manufacture the batteries domestically to compete with China.
That said, in March, Ford announced that its electric vehicle unit called “Ford Model e” is hemorrhaging billions of dollars and is expected to lose more this year.
In April, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.), chairman of the Senate Energy Committee, noted that when it comes to Biden’s electric vehicle push and China, the agenda will only empower Beijing.
“The EPA is lying to Americans with false claims about how their manipulation of the market to boost EVs will help American energy security. In reality, this is a Trojan horse,” he said at the time.
“To meet these timelines will mean strengthening our reliance on minerals and technologies controlled by the Chinese. Taken in concert with the clear violation of the IRA [Inflation Reduction Act] to undermine provisions that would actually secure these supply chains, this Administration is taking steps that will only result in a more energy-secure and powerful China,” he added.
“I don’t believe that making progress on climate change should come at the expense of our national and energy security. I fully support Congress overturning these dangerous EPA regulations,” he noted further.
The Examiner reported that Ford’s loan is the biggest from the federal government for an American automaker “since the 2009 financial crisis and subsequent bailout of the auto industry.”
The report added:
The Biden administration has raced to build out the electric vehicle and battery manufacturing supply chain in a bid to compete against China and deliver on its goal of having 50% of all new cars sold in the United States be electric vehicles by the year 2030. EVs currently account for roughly 7% of all cars sold in the U.S.
The Loan Programs Office was tasked by the Inflation Reduction Act with overseeing the distribution of roughly $400 billion in new loans.
Meanwhile, however, being a moderate Democrat and a former governor in deep-red West Virginia isn’t likely to carry Manchin to victory next year should he decide to run for reelection, according to a May survey.
Though it’s early in the election cycle, the poll shows Manchin badly trailing current Gov. Jim Justice, a former Democrat who notably switched to the Republican Party during the 2016 election cycle, much to the delight of then-GOP candidate Donald Trump, who went on to win the state that year and again in 2020, handily.
In fact, during the previous presidential election cycle, Trump actually won every single West Virginia county.
The survey from the East Carolina University’s Center for Survey Research shows Manchin trailing Justice by an eye-watering 22 points.
“In a hypothetical 2024 U.S. Senate matchup in West Virginia, the latest ECU Poll shows Governor Jim Justice with a significant 22-point lead over incumbent Senator Joe Manchin, 54 percent to 32 percent, among registered voters in the state,” the survey said, adding that just 26 percent of voters in West Virginia approve of President Joe Biden, who Manchin is linked to by the party.
Only 51 percent of the state’s Democrats now support him.
Polling for Manchin has been trending downward for months. In September, for instance, a report noted that Manchin’s stock rose considerably among moderate and even conservative voters in his home state during the previous 18 months as he repeatedly thwarted Biden’s expensive legislative agenda as well as that of his Democratic Party.
But he burned up all political capital he earned after he struck a deal with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) behind closed doors on anti-inflation legislation several analyses have predicted won’t do anything to lower prices.