Source: United States House of Representatives – Representative Mike Levin (CA-49)
San Juan Capistrano, CA – Today, U.S. Representative Mike Levin (D-CA) introduced the Solar Jobs Preservation Act with Rep. Dave Schweikert (R-AZ) to protect jobs in the solar industry by strengthening the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). Since the ITC was created in 2006, it has helped create hundreds of thousands of jobs and generate billions of dollars in investment. However, the tax credit has become more difficult to use due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it is also facing a phase down. The bill is also cosponsored by Representatives Paul Tonko (D-NY) and Paul Cook (R-CA).
“As we continue to confront the COVID-19 pandemic and the devastating effects on our economy, we cannot forget about the climate crisis and the need to preserve clean energy jobs that help us protect our planet,” said Rep. Levin. “The solar industry plays a critical role in reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and driving economic growth, which is why we must support them during this pandemic and extend the investment tax credit. I appreciate Congressman Schwekiert’s partnership on this important legislation, and look forward to working with the rest of my colleagues in the House to pass this bill.”
“As our economy continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is incredibly important for Congress to be focused on creating jobs and helping our industries recover,” said Rep. Schweikert. “I am pleased to join the Solar Jobs Preservation Act to strengthen the solar investment tax credit to incentivize growth, opportunity, and clean energy in Arizona and across the country.”
“This bipartisan legislation would help address key issues facing the solar industry as a result of the COVID crisis, and support hardworking men and women deploying clean solar energy across the country,” said Erin Duncan, Vice President of Congressional Affairs, Solar Energy Industries Association. “Solar has broad appeal across the political spectrum, and we appreciate the bipartisan leadership of Reps. Levin, Schweikert, Cook, and Tonko to craft this legislation. In the long run, a measure like this can help address climate change as well as deploy much needed energy infrastructure. Enacting these pro-solar measures would go a long way toward jumpstarting clean energy projects and easing some of the economic impacts of COVID-19.”
“With nearly half a million clean energy workers still out of work from the COVID economic crisis, Congress should provide immediate relief in the form of refundability for the clean energy tax credits,” said Matthew Davis, Legislative Director for the League of Conservation Voters. “We applaud Rep. Levin for his leadership to make refundable and extend the solar tax credits for a year.”
“The positive multiplier effect of passing Solar Jobs Preservation Act is immeasurable,” said Dr. Tom Buttgenbach, Founder and CEO of 8minute Solar Energy. “Not only will this bill help many more shovels immediately hit the dirt on clean energy projects across the country, but it will also revitalize communities hard-hit by the COVID-19 crisis by bringing in thousands of good-paying jobs and economic stimulus. Smart policy like this is the key to providing short-term relief that will build long-lasting economic growth.”
The Solar Jobs Preservation Act makes the ITC temporarily refundable for projects that break ground by the end of 2021, and extends the phase down of the ITC schedule by one year. The bill would make the ITC refundable for projects that begin construction over the next 14 months so projects are able to utilize the ITC despite financing challenges created by the pandemic.
The legislation is supported by the Solar Energy Industries Association, League of Conservation Voters, and California League of Conservation Voters.
Click here for legislative text of the Solar Jobs Preservation Act.