Clean Energy Is Under Attack in Our Nation’s Capital
Tuesday, Apr 25 2023
America’s clean energy industry is under attack, and for all the wrong reasons.
A group of lawmakers are attempting to reverse the Biden administration’s two-year pause on new solar tariffs and force companies to pay $1 billion in retroactive duties by using an obscure legislative vehicle called the Congressional Review Act, which would overturn Biden Administration trade policy.
At the same time, as part of a debt ceiling debate the Republican controlled House is proposing to repeal clean energy provisions in the historic Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).
The IRA has opened the flood gates for hundreds of billions of dollars of clean energy investments and hundreds of thousands of new jobs that will revitalize long-abandoned American communities. New investments announced since the passage of the IRA would bring America’s solar module manufacturing capacity to more than 47 gigawatts, five times more than we could produce in 2022. Repealing the IRA will stop this investment in its tracks, pulling the rug out from under the communities that are counting on these factory jobs.
Playing games with the debt limit has very real consequences for businesses, workers and the entire economy. The IRA is expected to create an additional 200,000 jobs and $600 billion in private investment in the solar industry alone over the next decade. Companies need to trust that the policy landscape will remain stable in order to put forward this level of capital, and it’s up to responsible lawmakers to ensure that certainty remains.
The other side of this coin is just as bad.
SEIA analysis shows that overturning the Biden administration’s two-year pause on new solar tariffs will eliminate 30,000 good-paying jobs, including 4,000 manufacturing jobs. Put simply, the United States lacks enough solar production capacity to meet domestic demand today. The tariff pause is a reasonable policy approach that allows critical energy projects under development to be built in the near-term, while providing a window of time for manufacturing investments spurred by the IRA to scale.
There is universal agreement about the need to build more manufacturing capacity in America and own a larger part of the energy supply chain.
If Congress votes to reverse the solar tariff pause, the bridge we’re building to more solar manufacturing will collapse. And if lawmakers repeal or roll back significant parts of the IRA, it will blow up the single most effective policy we have to drive domestic manufacturing, right when we need these investments the most.
Either way, American workers lose, and a window opens for other countries to take these investments away from the United States.
The U.S. solar and storage industry supports the livelihoods of 255,000 American families. Clean energy is woven into the economic fabric of America, and this clear political targeting will weaken the nation’s energy security, unraveling decades of innovation and growth.
This moment calls for sensible, bipartisan leadership from members of Congress that support jobs, business certainty, domestic manufacturing and energy security.
Hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars of manufacturing investments depend on it.