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On Capitol Hill, a 180-degree turn of events for climate, EV policy | Greenbiz

On Capitol Hill, a 180-degree turn of events for climate, EV policy | Greenbiz

For the past year and a half, the Build Back Better agenda has been on a roller-coaster ride — and I am not talking about those easygoing kids’ rides either. I’m talking about the rides that spin you upside down and twirl you around, only to flatten out, giving the impression it’s over, and then take you for another thrilling set of twists and turns. 

Here is a perfect example of what I mean. Last week, I reached out to Joe Britton, executive director of the Zero Emission Transportation Association (ZETA), a federal coalition focused on advocating for 100 percent electric vehicle (EV) sales by 2030 with corporate members including Tesla, Rivian, ABB and EVgo. I wanted to speak with Britton, given the news at the time out of Capitol Hill that the Build Back Better bill was completely dead in the water again and all that remained was a health care spending deal. ZETA has been at the frontlines of all things federal EV policy since launching in late 2020, so there’s no one better to speak to than Britton and his team. Then just like a roller coaster, prior to my interview, news broke that Build Back Better was not fully dead, and Sen. Joe Manchin, who has held up much of the progress on passing a meaningful bill, supports moving forward on some version of a bill after negotiations with Sen. Chuck Schumer. Oh, and now the bill was no longer called the Build Back Better Act, but instead is The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022.

If you take Manchin at his word, then apparently he was never really out of the deal, despite media reports to the contrary. “Remember when I told you I didn’t walk away? I never walked away. I’ve never walked away from anything,” Manchin said in an interview with Punchbowl News after announcing a deal has been struck on the new bill. 

In this piece, I don’t plan to recap the well-documented twists and turns of Build Back Better. Instead, I want to look ahead and help make sense of what transpired these past few days because this may be the planet’s best shot at meaningful climate policy passing in the U.S. Even as I write this, I would be lying if I said I am not holding my breath on whether Congress will be able to pass it. 

Specifically for climate, the bill sets aside $369 billion for energy security and climate change compared with the previously allocated $550 billion.

While we are nowhere close to what President Joe Biden initially proposed in 2021, passing this legislation will put the U.S. on a path to roughly 40 percent emissions reduction by 2030, short of the original U.S. goal of 50 percent by 2030 that is needed to meet net zero by 2050 — but a whole heck of a lot better than nothing at all. 

  • As it stands, the bill will bring in $739 billion and will invest $433 billion in energy security and climate change along with an Affordable Care Act extension. 
  • The previous version of the bill passed by the House last year included a total $1.75 trillion. 
  • Specifically for climate, the bill sets aside $369 billion for energy security and climate change compared with the previously allocated $550 billion
  • The bill includes several incentives for EVs, including maintaining the $7,500 purchase incentive but removing the tax credit cap after automakers hit 200,000 EVs sold. Removing the cap would make GM and Tesla vehicles once again eligible. Additionally, the incentive moves to the point of sale instead of applying as a federal tax credit. 
  • A few firsts: The legislation also includes $4,000 for used EVs and up to $40,000 for commercial trucks that weigh more than 14,000 pounds. 

For those interested, here is the one-pager on all the various spending breakdowns and the full text for all my fellow policy nerds. Also, make sure to check out GreenBiz’s recent piece on the The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 and its impact on climate tech by our own Leah Garden. 

Given my incredible conversation with Britton, and how helpful it was to dive deeper into the legislation, we have decided to publish the full interview, edited for length and clarity:

Vartan Badalian: When I first reached out a couple of weeks ago to schedule this interview, we were in a much different place compared to now. A lot has transpired over these last couple of days. It is like a 180-degree turn on Capitol Hill. We first thought all hope for meaningful federal climate policy was lost after Sen. Joe Manchin signaled he would not support any bill that focused on climate. It now appears climate is back in, and Build Back Better is called The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. Please walk us through what transpired over these two weeks to get us here. 

Joe Britton: Well, there is the inside baseball kind of answer that [Senate Majority Leader Chuck] Schumer felt like he was clear that the deadline was August, and Manchin felt like the deadline was Sept. 30. So they had a little bit of a conflict on, was there time to push this past August or not. So there was a little bit of just timing. Manchin is the energy chairman, so he recognizes that climate change is worth addressing. … So I don’t think he intended necessarily to kill the climate provisions in the way that those conversations had appeared. I think it was basically a recognition that, all right, we’re disagreeing over dates, and that is not a justification for giving up on climate change and emissions reduction. So they just continued the conversations and figured out a way to agree on things that were under consideration. 

Photo of Joe Britton, executive director of ZETA, leaning on a balcony

Badalian: From an EV and climate perspective, what is and is not in this bill compared to the previous version? What should consumers and company fleets be aware of? I know there is a slight change to the EV tax credit compared to before, correct? 

Britton: There is a lot [different]; they are different bills. If you stack this bill up against previous aspirations for Build Back Better, you are sort of disappointed in certain areas, certainly. But on the EV side, the new EV credit is probably the biggest change. So in the House bill, they had the $7,500 base credit for EVs if you purchased a new vehicle, but they also had an extra $500 for domestic content, and then another $4,500 if it was manufactured with union labor. We kind of identified that the union adder was going to be a problem for many political reasons, so it came out. So it is now the $7,500 base credit. The thing that is most interesting about the new credit is that there is embedded in there, maybe not direct, but certainly indirect industrial policy. So for half of the credit, you [the automotive company] need to make pretty serious strides on reshoring critical minerals. So $3,750 of the $7,500 is dependent on the next 2½ years, for the automotive company to reshore critical mineral supply chains and pull them out of China. That can be in North America and also allies that we [the U.S.] have free trade agreements with. Like Australia, Chile, and others. But that is going to be difficult to do. You cannot just take the vehicles in the supply chains that we have today and assume eligibility, I think there will be a lot of work to reshore minerals. For the other half, $3,750, you [the automotive company] have to have your battery components not sourced from China. And so again, that is going to be a challenge, it will force manufacturers to reach and do things a little differently. Thankfully, we have done a lot on batteries. 

We have 700-gigawatt hours of battery manufacturing announced in the U.S. now, so certainly there are huge incentives put in place to reshore more of that for the future. But the bill also does not just say, “Here are some new targets,” and leaves it up to manufacturers to just figure it out. It also puts a lot of resources behind helping manufacturers do that. So there is $10 billion in battery and advanced manufacturing to help manufacturers reshore, there is $20 billion in loan authority, there is $2 billion for automotive facility retooling — so it is helping to support manufacturers to achieve these metrics. So the way I have been describing it is that they are tough metrics: They are going to require some real effort on the supply chain side, and it will take some time to do. But if we get it right, not only will we be making eligible vehicles and accelerating transportation electrification, but we will be creating jobs for minerals, batteries, components, parts and everything else. So, it is an incentive that has industrial policy baked in it. 

Badalian: So it changes the current incentive for the $7,500 where it now puts more onus on the automotive company to make themselves eligible, whereas before the only major onus was whether the company had sold 200,000 EVs or not to be eligible. 

Britton: So while it requires some difficult supply chain management and manufacturing changes to reshore and pull out of China, many of these manufacturers had already hit the cap [200,000 consumer sale cap]. Without this bill, they had zero chance of offering a consumer incentive period. So that cap is now gone under this bill, and instead of the cap, it makes contingent your eligibility based on the metrics discussed. So, against a baseline where you [the automotive company] had no credit, having a credit that, albeit is conditional and may take some work, I think folks are going to see and endeavor to make the $7,500 credit available to their consumers. And so it will create some manufacturing and critical mineral supply chain changes, but for good reason, and hopefully, those changes will be good for the American worker too.

Badalian: And there is also a component for fleets right? So there is a truck incentive as well that is pretty sizable — up to $40,000. 

Britton: Yeah, it is a 30 percent investment tax credit, that one is big and that one is new. … The other is the used EV credit, which I think is a really big game-changer. 70 percent of Americans are not in the market for a new car. And so this will now make a used EV credit available at $4,000 to folks that are looking to purchase a used car. Previously we had left out 70 percent of the market, and now those people are eligible for a used EV credit, so that is a big deal. 

The other one that is a really big deal is a $35 per-kilowatt-hour battery production tax credit. So, if you take, for example, a 100-kilowatt-hour battery, Tesla Model X and some others meet that, there is a $3,500 value that goes to the manufacturer to produce that battery in the U.S. So if you think about that $3,500 plus the $7,500 vehicle consumer incentive if you are doing this work in the U.S., and you can secure your supply chains, pull them out of China, you might have $7,500 for the consumer and $3,500 for the manufacturer. And all of a sudden there is [$10,000] or $11,000 in value to reach and surpass price parity with gas-powered vehicles. So that is a big, big change. 

Badalian: This is not the only thing that will positively impact the automotive industry, correct? The Senate recently passed the CHIPs+ Act, which will increase the production of critical semiconductor chips in short supply (which is causing supply chain delays). Walk us through the importance of this bill for the EV industry. 

Britton: So this is interesting… one of the biggest chokepoints we face in supply chain constraints has been the chip shortage, so being able to invest $50-plus billion in chip manufacturing in the U.S. will again restore some of those manufacturing jobs and capabilities, … Also, if we didn’t have a domestic supply chain for chips, we may have fallen prey to some of the manufacturing bases in Asia that were just not gonna make them available. So it was a real vulnerability for us [the U.S.]. So that investment will boost volume and supply domestically, but ideally, do it at a price competitive point. So that [CHIPS+ Act] combined with this bill [The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022] is going to be an enormous accelerant for transportation electrification. 

The other thing that we didn’t mention going back to the reconciliation bill [The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022], that we have been working on for months and months is the U.S. Postal Service electrification. Previously, Postmaster [Louis] DeJoy came out and said 10 percent of the fleet might be electric under his plan. We spent a lot of time and I testified before Congress, challenging the assumptions that they use. [After all the advocacy, the U.S. Postal Service] recently committed 40 percent of the fleet to be electric. So we got them to quadruple their commitment. 

[Want more great analysis of electric and sustainable transport? Sign up for Transport Weekly, our free email newsletter.]

But there is also $3 billion in this bill to further electrify the U.S. Postal Service fleet. So that’s a big deal. One of the estimates was that it was going to cost $6 billion to electrify the Postal Service fleet. So if you think about the 40 percent they’ve already committed to plus another $3 billion, you can envision getting the 90 to 100 percent fleet electrification for the Postal Service. The other thing is that they are also sending $15 million to the postal inspector general to conduct oversight on the postmaster, to ensure that they are doing this in the right way.

Badalian: What do you see as the timeline for moving The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 forward? 

Britton: Well, Plan A is that they start voting  [Wednesday or Thursday]. And it then goes to the president’s desk next weekend. So that is Plan A. But, Congress and politics are not without twists and turns. So it is not a slam dunk. And there will be a lot of work to do between now and then. But that is the goal. 

Badalian: How soon can we expect the revived EV incentive to be ready and available to consumers and companies? 

Britton: Well, there is an implementation period, so I think Treasury and IRS probably have to put out some guidance. So there will be some different junctures. But what I would recommend is, come next weekend, we will have some finality on the policy and we have gone through the amendment process. And then ZETA will be putting a lot of work into public awareness, working fleet operators, and those that might want to buy a commercial heavy-duty EV and certainly a consumer-facing vehicle. So we will have the material and the content to know where the policy lands, and then folks should start to see how and where they might be eligible.

Badalian: Beyond The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, what more does the U.S. need federally to achieve 100 percent EV sales by 2030, or are we now on track? 

Britton: So I think it is a three-pronged approach. We get in place the right federal policies, which this bill is directionally a huge accelerant. … So that is the federal policy. No. 2 is the manufacturers produce product and segment offerings that more and more Americans can see working for their families, which they are doing. The third is a huge public affairs campaign. Not every American has the time or bandwidth to unpack the credits and eligibility. … There needs to be a huge public affairs campaign aimed at bringing to communities all across America the benefits of electrification. Go into those families and say that electrification is good for you, it is good for your family, you will save money at the pump, and you will be catalyzing domestic manufacturing and jobs in your community.

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Penticton Speedway packs stands on Saturday night with return of destruction events, King of the Hill competition – Penticton News

Penticton Speedway packs stands on Saturday night with return of destruction events, King of the Hill competition - Penticton News

Casey Richardson

The Penticton Speedway had crowds pilled into the stands for their return of some smashing events on Saturday, with the Eve of Destruction and Hit-2-Pass show.

“Our night of destruction, what a great show those guys put on. I mean, we got trailers and garbage laying all over the racetrack. The fans are going nuts. It was awesome,” Speedway co-owner Trevor Seibert said.

“The kids, you could just see them up against the fence cheering the whole time screaming their little heads off. So it’s fantastic. That’s what we want. And it’s good family entertainment.”

Thanks to Penticton Kia, I got to take to the track and try out my racing chops in King of the Hill, which opens up the racetrack to give everyone a chance to race.

“That’s for people that come out to the grandstand that have always wanted to be a race car driver or just think they have a hotter car than their buddy. Come on here and put a lap in and see if you can beat him,” Seiber added.

In the 2008 Ford Escape I was equipped with, I was able to take the lead and win my first race against a Volkswagen Beetle. That changed when I faced off against a Corvette.

Seibert said the key to competing in King of the Hill is to have a positive attitude and have fun.

“We had a Corvette win tonight, we had people out there with a Chevy Chevette from the 80s, we have everything and anything under the sun….There’s a good chance you might not win because you don’t have the same car the other person has, but you can put on a great show.”

Future plans for the open races are to continue building them, hopefully growing to 35 or 40 competitors.

“Don’t be shy to be part of it and bring whatever you go. ‘Run what you brung’ we call it. Enter the thing and see how you do,” Seibert added.

The contest includes a cash prize, which the winning driver this weekend generously split with all the other drivers as a sign of sportsmanship.

Seibert said the action-packed weekend overall was the sign of a great return to racing.

“Last year, we, of course, had to deal with restrictions still. We were down to 50 people in the grandstand and it was just ridiculous, pretty hard to survive like that. A lot of business out there in the same boat, we just managed to make our way through it and kept the races going. Had to keep everybody enthused, you know, the drivers and the teams.”

The new owners also used the time to work on the track, which has been around since 1969.

“We’re trying to show ourselves to the community that we want to create new fans, we want to show the older fans that maybe haven’t been in a while there’s something new here for them to come on out to. We’re getting a lot of great compliments.

“We’re just having a lot of fun taking it over from the Aantjes family and they’ve helped us a lot, given us a lot of advice on what to do.”

Next weekend the track will be hosting the Avion RS1 Superseal Cup Featuring Avion RS1’s and Avion Sprints.

Rising stars in racing will be taking on seasoned veterans, looking to gain points and put themselves in a position to ultimately win the Avion Motorsports RS1 Challenge Cup Championship. Seibert himself will be back on the track for the event.

“We’ve got a big, deep field of very talented drivers showing up for that.”

For more information or to grab tickets, click here.

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Faith Hill Shuts Down Latest Event in a Lace Bodysuit and Pencil Skirt

Faith Hill Shuts Down Latest Event in a Lace Bodysuit and Pencil Skirt

1883 stars Faith Hill and Tim McGraw certainly know how to put together a coordinating look. The country music superstars, who have been married for 25 years, have had plenty of experience perfecting their style, and they got to showcase three stunning outfits on a recent trip to the UK. They were overseas to promote the launch of Paramount+ UK along with other stars of the streaming service, including Yellowstone’s Kevin Costner and Sylvester Stallone of Tulsa King.

london, england   june 20 l r faith hill and tim mcgraw attend the paramount uk launch on june 20, 2022 in london, england photo by karwai tangwireimage

Karwai Tang

Faith and Tim first stepped out in jaw-dropping red carpet looks. Tim went with a casually cool gray suit without a tie, and Faith opted for a fitted suit paired with a lace bodysuit.

london, england   june 20 tim mcgraw and faith hill of mtv ent studios101 studios during a visit to bafta headquarters to celebrate the launch of paramount uk at bafta on june 20, 2022 in london, england photo by dave j hogangetty images

Dave J Hogan

Later, the couple went with 1970s-inspired glam for a visit to BAFTA headquarters. Faith wore a wide-leg belted crepe wool jumpsuit by Gucci, and Tim chose a fitted light blue suit with a patterned sweater.

london, england   june 21  tim mcgraw and faith hill are seen attending a dinner hosted by finch  partners for the launch of paramount uk at chiltern firehouse on june 21, 2022 in london, england photo by ricky vigil mgc images

Ricky Vigil M

For a nighttime look, the couple coordinated in matching all-black suits. Faith again paired her floor-length skirt and jacket with oversize gold buttons with a lingerie-inspired cami.

In an interview with ET, Faith explained that she struggled when the “extraordinary” experience of filming 1883 ended. She explained, “I went through a little bit of a depression, I have to say, for a couple of weeks I was just really sad. There was something about that schedule too that was severe and grueling but it became so much a part of our lives for almost six months.”

We can’t wait to see what’s next for this power couple.

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Police locate 2 people, vehicles of interest after Parliament Hill evacuation | CBC News

Police locate 2 people, vehicles of interest after Parliament Hill evacuation | CBC News

Ottawa police have located two people and two vehicles of interest related to the events that sparked street closures and an evacuation of Parliament Hill on Saturday afternoon. 

Local police worked with their policing partners to close the area around Parliament for a few hours on Saturday, while they investigated what they described as a “suspicious incident.” 

Wellington Street between Elgin Street and Bronson Avenue was closed for around three hours, as well as Metcalfe Street between Albert and Slater streets. 

Ottawa police said the investigation found there was no risk to public safety in a tweet. 

Heavily armed officers were stationed along roads leading to Wellington, with vehicles and police tape blocking access. 

At least some employees who work in the Parliamentary precinct received an email saying an ongoing operation is taking place to deal with a possible threat. 

“There has been a SHELTER IN PLACE order given for the Precinct, this entails no movements in or out of our buildings. Parliament Hill has been evacuated.”

Police are continuing to investigate. 

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Kelowna’s Knox Mountain Hill Climb sees one of its busiest events in a decade | iNFOnews

Kelowna’s Knox Mountain Hill Climb sees one of its busiest events in a decade | iNFOnews

Brent Thorkelson stands with his 2007 GT3 Porsche as part of the Knox Mountain Hill Climb, Saturday, May 21, 2022.


May 21, 2022 – 6:04 PM

Driven by the desire to attend events following the easement of pandemic restrictions, thousands flocked to one of North America’s oldest hill climbs Saturday in Kelowna.

The Knox Mountain Hill Climb was last held in 2019 and was shut down afterwards due to COVID-19. Each year, drivers gather in an attempt to beat their own and others records of who can climb the hill the fastest.

For eight years, Vancouver Island driver Brent Thorkelson took children affected by cancer up the hill in his 2007 GT3 Porsche as part of his Hands Together for a Cure fundraiser but this year he decided to race as a participant.

“We always wanted to give the kids the best ride possible… we had eight years of great runs with great kids so we should just stop while we’re ahead,” he said, adding there was some safety concerns.

“It’s a huge responsibility taking kids up the hill.”

Thorkelson grew up in Kelowna and is is still driving his Porsche.

“For me, as well as my brother, it’s never been being first, second or third, it’s about personal best,” he said.

He recommends new drivers to start with an inexpensive car to hone your craft and to listen to other drivers on the hill.

“That’s probably one of the best things about the Knox Mountain Hill Climb, is the people that attend it,” he said.

The Knox Mountain Hill Climb, May 21,2022.

The Knox Mountain Hill Climb, May 21,2022.


Event organizer Bryan Sulton said it’s one of the largest crowds they’ve seen in a decade with 60 drivers and more than 2,000 attendees that showed up to watch, May 21.

“I think there’s been a pent up demand for people to get out,” he said. “I feel good because we put 365 days worth of effort into organizing it and the reward we get out of it is seeing people having a good time and the money we raise for charity.”

It’s the oldest running hill climb in Canada and one of the oldest running paved hill climbs in North America, he said. The event wraps up tomorrow, May 22.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Carli Berry or call 250-864-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won’t censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. 


News from © iNFOnews, 2022


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Chapel Hill and Carrboro host Earth Day events throughout weekend

Chapel Hill and Carrboro host Earth Day events throughout weekend

With Earth Day quickly approaching this month, organizations across Carrboro and Chapel Hill are planning environmentally friendly events for community members of all ages.

Here is a guide to Earth Day events happening on April 22 and 23. 

Earth Day events in Carrboro

The Climate Reality Project’s Orange County chapter will host an Earth Day event in partnership with the town at the Carrboro Town Commons from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Earth Day, April 22.

Registration is not required, and there will be live music, information tables, a children’s parade and other kids’ activities. While admission is free, attendees can buy food and other items on sale at the event.

Margie Muenzer, secretary for Climate Reality Project’s Orange County chapter, said one of the main goals of the Earth Day event is to provide educational opportunities for the community.

“Sometimes people are overwhelmed with the climate crisis and don’t think there’s really anything that they can do,” she said. “This is to show that if we can get everybody working together, there’s certainly a lot that communities can do.”

During the event, Muenzer said there will be a variety of vendors to help families learn more about environmental topics such as food waste, beekeeping, sustainability, recycling and solar energy. Items like vegan ice cream, honey, plants, soaps and candles will be available for sale.

For the children’s parade at 6 p.m., children are encouraged to wear nature-related costumes. There will be a table at the Earth Day event where children can create their own costumes from recycled goods.

On April 23 from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., the Carrboro recreation, parks and cultural resources department will host its annual Keep Carrboro Beautiful Volunteer Day.

Jeremy Poythress, recreation supervisor for Carrboro’s recreation, parks and cultural resources department, said the event’s purpose is to beautify the city by removing litter.

“You get a really nice feeling from seeing a big bag of trash in your hand at the end of the day that you know isn’t out in the environment anymore,” Poythress said.

Volunteers will be provided with gardening or latex gloves, trash bags, trash grabbers and safety vests.

Those interested in attending the Keep Carrboro Beautiful Volunteer Day can call 919-918-7392 to register.

Pre-registration is required for the event. Volunteers will meet at the Carrboro Century Center. 

Earth Day events in Chapel Hill

Triangle Families Explore will be hosting its first Earth Day Festival outside of the Honeysuckle Tea House in Chapel Hill on April 23 from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

The event is for all ages but will offer many hands-on activities for children. It will feature a puppet show, crafts, nature activities and live music.

Cheyenne Levinson, owner of Triangle Families Explore, said she was motivated to put on the event to celebrate the beginning of spring.

“What better way to kick off spring than with an Earth Day festival?” Levinson said.

She also said that the majority of the businesses that she will be collaborating with are focused on sustainability and nature.

The Honeysuckle Tea House will serve its regular menu inside the shop, but all items at the event outside will be free.

The Earth Day Festival does not require registration.

The Kidzu Children’s Museum will be hosting a Renewable Energy Day event as a part of the North Carolina Science Festival from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on April 23.

The event is free to the public and pre-registration is required for guaranteed admission.

Allie Lee, the outdoor learning coordinator at the Kidzu Children’s Museum, said that the event will include activities like making wind turbines, gliders and simple motors.

She also noted that there will be a craft section that will contain solar beads and allow for the layers of the Earth to be shown.

Lee said she feels kids are interested in climate-related issues.

“I think it makes them feel empowered when they feel they can help be a part of the solution,” she said.


@DTHCityState | 

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