Manchin blasts exemptions in Biden administration rule on foreign EV parts

Senate Energy Committee Chair Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) blasted the Biden administration’s new guidance on “foreign entities of concern” (FEOCs) ineligible for the Inflation Reduction Act’s (IRA) electric vehicle (EV) tax credits, calling them contradictory to the text of the landmark climate law.

Specifically, Manchin accused the administration of seeking “workarounds” to the IRA’s restrictions on Chinese battery components. The guidance released Friday lays out rules for what makes a company an FEOC, including disqualifying connections to nations including North Korea, China, Iran and Russia.

Manchin specifically took issue with provisions that make exceptions for certain trace critical minerals, which the Treasury Department said comprise less than 2 percent of critical minerals used in batteries.

“The proposed Treasury rules on Foreign Entities of Concern are another example of the Biden administration clearly breaking the law to try to implement a bill that it could not pass,” Manchin said in a statement. “The Inflation Reduction Act clearly states that consumer vehicles are ineligible for tax credits if ‘any of the applicable critical minerals contained in the battery’ come from China or other foreign adversaries after 2024. But this administration is, yet again, trying to find workarounds and delays that leave the door wide open for China to benefit off the backs of American taxpayers.”

Manchin was a key driver in the development of the IRA in 2022 after previously pulling his support from the more ambitious Build Back Better Act. Since then, he has become sharply critical of its implementation, particularly pertaining to electric cars, and accused the Biden administration of prioritizing renewables while neglecting its energy security provisions.

In August, he marked the law’s anniversary by vowing to “push back on those who seek to undermine this significant legislation for their respective political agenda, and that begins with my unrelenting fight against the Biden Administration’s efforts to implement the IRA as a radical climate agenda instead of implementing the IRA that was passed into law.”

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