Vittert: Energy secretary pushes solar panel tax credits

On Balance with Leland Vittert

(NewsNation) —  Last week, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm explained how if people spend a little more money, we can save the planet.

“People will be able to lower the fuel costs in their home,” Granholm said. “There’s a 30% tax credit that you can claim in 2022 for installing energy-efficient windows, heat pumps, energy-efficient appliances. That is right away. On top of that, of course, if citizens want to install solar panels on their roofs, so that they can generate their own power, that’s another 30% tax credit.”

Democrats wonder why the working class abandoned them starting in 2016. This is just one of the many reasons. When you can’t pay your electric bill, buying solar panels isn’t an option. They don’t understand that, and they don’t care.

There’s no question the climate is changing. Look at Lake Mead. It’s at its lowest level since it was made.

Reasonable people can agree on two things: One, the climate is changing and secondly, the Energy Secretary is out of touch and her solar panels aren’t going to fix it.

She and her handlers and the White House clearly think the talking point works. She said it again Sunday.

“There are significant incentives in this bill, which is great to reduce people’s energy costs on a monthly basis. So if you are low income, you can get your home entirely weatherized through the expansion from the bipartisan infrastructure law’s significant expansion. You don’t have to pay for anything if you want. Heat pumps, insulation, new windows, that is covered. If you are moderate income, today, you can get 30% off the price of solar panels, those solar panels can be financed, so you don’t have to have the big outcome outlay at the front,” Granholm said on Fox News Sunday.

So who’s paying? The 30 percent tax credit means you get 30 percent back for solar panels, but you pay 70 percent yourself.

How much is it? Depending on where you live, that’s a bill of about $12,000 after the tax credit. Most of the money goes to China, which makes the panels.

But never mind that, you can finance it since interest rates are going up. Nothing says you understand the common man like telling us to put $12,000 on our credit card.

Right now, two-thirds of Americans think we are in a recession, and 61 percent of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. Again, the out of touch secretary has an answer for that: buy an electric car so you don’t have to fill up at the gas pump.

“Making sure that we are driving down costs for real people and electric vehicles is very important, so being able to claim a tax credit, people can pancake on that tax credit with state incentives,” Granholm said, later adding: “The savings from a vehicle perspective of owning, maintaining and not having to fill up are just enormous.”

Never mind that the average price of an electric car is $67,000. Never mind that the tax credit she promises actually goes to the car companies, because many of them raised prices by exactly that amount.

In other words, we the taxpayers are giving Elon Musk, Ford and General Motors a tax credit. But we should celebrate this because it’s somehow going to fix the climate in a few decades.

Let’s give Secretary Out of Touch the true benefit of the doubt. She actually believes bold action needs to be taken to fix the climate. We Americans, despite China’s pollution, despite India’s pollution, we Americans can actually make a difference. Fine, that’s a perfectly reasonable position, but solar panel credits is not going to do it.

Telling Americans to live paycheck to paycheck and that they should pay thousands for solar panels isn’t bold action. It’s more evidence that spending on climate change is more about helping Democrats get out the vote than it is about fixing climate change.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author, and not of NewsNation.

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