Clean Energy Is Under Attack in Our Nation’s Capital
In a move that could have serious consequences for the American solar industry, a group of lawmakers is attempting to use an obscure legislative tool called the Congressional Review Act to reverse the Biden administration's two-year pause on new solar tariffs. If successful, this would force companies to pay $1 billion in retroactive duties and overturn Biden Administration trade policy.
In addition, the House is proposing to repeal clean energy provisions in the historic Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) as part of a debt ceiling debate.
The IRA has opened the door for billions of dollars of clean energy investments and hundreds of thousands of new jobs that would revitalize long-abandoned American communities. The 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 would stop this investment in its tracks, pulling the rug out from under the communities that are counting on these factory jobs.
However, overturning the Biden administration's two-year pause on new solar tariffs will eliminate 30,000 good-paying jobs, including 4,000 manufacturing jobs, according to SEIA analysis. The United States currently lacks enough solar production capacity to meet domestic demand today, and the tariff pause is seen as 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.
In a statement, the White House said it "strongly opposes" the resolution and would veto it if it passes, according to them, Biden's policy has worked and points to an increase in domestic solar manufacturing capacity.
"This legislation would sabotage U.S. energy security," Ali Zaidi, Biden's national climate adviser.
The solar and storage industry supports the livelihoods of 255,000 American families, and clean energy is woven into the economic fabric of America. The potential consequences of these political actions could weaken the nation's energy security and unravel decades of innovation and growth. Members of Congress are urged to oppose the Congressional Review Act and do everything they can to keep the IRA out of debt ceiling negotiations.
Resources: SEIA.org, Reuters.comc