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Former Interior Secretary Says Inflation Reduction Act Makes America ‘More Vulnerable To China’

Republican Rep. Ryan Zinke of Montana said Tuesday the U.S. was “more vulnerable to China” because of the Inflation Reduction Act’s push for electric vehicles, which China primarily supplies.

“The world is a lot better off when the U.S. produces the energy, but the moment we become independent, and I would say in some areas, dominant, this administration backtracks to go we want to be now vulnerable with China on the supply chain,” Zinke, who served as Secretary of the Interior under former President Donald Trump, told Fox Business host Larry Kudlow, a former economic advisor to Trump.

“Look, the EV world, what makes the EV world? You have cobalt, lithium, critical minerals, all controlled and processed in China,” Zinke continued. “You have on solar side, most of the solar cells are in China. The Inflation Reduction Act itself could have been renamed the Chinese Stimulus Act. Now we position ourselves to be more vulnerable to China in our energy needs.”

President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law in August, which included a tax credit for electric battery production and tax credits for various energy-efficient appliances and electric cars.

Kudlow noted that Occidental Petroleum reportedly is nearing completion on a carbon-capture plant in Texas, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

“If you want to do it cleaner, better, then do it in the U.S.,” Zinke said. “I think [Occidental Petroleum] is responding to where this administration is, I mean, they are looking at it singularly as we’re going to go EV, we’re going to go carbon-free, but at what cost? Enormous amount of cost, not a lot of return, and it just provides China with the edge.”

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