A conservative group called Citizens for the Republic (CftR) has launched a campaign against Tesla CEO, Elon Musk. CftR’s criticism of Musk is majorly directed at his acquisition of SolarCity, a solar power system manufacturing and installation company. The group’s prime focus is towards cutting off solar subsidies offered to companies by the US Government, through tax credits offered on their products.
A statement on the CftR website says, “Under the guise of concern for the environment, the solar industry has become the pet industry of the Obama Administration and continues to receive millions of dollars in federal tax credits which cost the taxpayer millions… The U.S. government needs to stop meddling in industries and create an atmosphere that allows business to prosper without pledging taxpayer support.”
The site also runs a database of Elon Musk related news called stopelonfromfailingagain.com – a collection which features any article unfavourable to Tesla, SolarCity or SpaceX. The news pieces include titles like Tesla, Spacex, Solarcity, and the cancer of cronyism (plus post-election humor), and speculative pieces on how President Elect Donald Trump’s policies might affect these companies – primarily focussing on the “potential for the tax credits to go away.” A recent report from The Drive states that the people behind the site might have connections to fossil fuel lobbyists. In a clip from the recent documentary, Before The Flood, Musk had even said, “The fossil fuel industry is the biggest industry… they have more money and more influence than any other sector.”
Currently, customers receive a tax credit of $7,500 on each Tesla car purchased, under the Plug-In Electric Drive Vehicle Credit category. Meanwhile, a tax credit of 30 per cent of the cost of each SolarCity power system can be availed through the Solar Investment Tax Credit, set to expire this year. The initial plan of the US Government was to gradually phase out these subsidies. But CftR wants to move the Government to do away with these tax cuts immediately, without one-year extensions.