With our values at stake, Christians need to play an active role in government like never before. As president of the Christian Coalition, I’ve urged people of faith to help shape policy that affects our everyday lives. One topic of importance in recent political discussions is energy independence. From the price of gas to the cost of powering our own homes, Americans understand just how much energy prices can constrain their monthly budget. Now, conservatives are looking at the issue not only in terms of cost but also in terms of being good stewards of our God-given natural resources. While it may seem surprising at first to hear a conservative speak up on this issue, it was President Ronald Reagan who famously said:
“What is a conservative after all but one who conserves, one who is committed to protecting and holding close the things by which we live…And we want to protect and conserve the land on which we live — our countryside, our rivers and mountains, our plains and meadows and forests. This is our patrimony. This is what we leave to our children. And our great moral responsibility is to leave it to them either as we found it or better than we found it.”
In keeping with Reagan’s legacy, I urge our nation’s legislators to include solar in this year’s tax extenders package.
A critical tax credit called the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is the only federal incentive for solar power. It benefits Americans of all stripes by making solar installations significantly more affordable and creating well-paid jobs that can’t be exported. Unfortunately, it is set to expire at the end of 2016.
The United States is sitting at a crossroads when it comes to solar energy. Since the ITC was implemented, solar installations have grown significantly – by more than 1,600 percent. Market stability for solar companies has allowed the cost of solar to fall quickly. Now is not the time to change that trend.
Last year, one out of every 78 jobs created in America came from solar energy. These are stable, good paying jobs that benefit our families and bolster small businesses. But most importantly, solar energy is one of the best ways to pass on our nation’s treasured resources to future generations. For the sake of our families, include solar in this year’s tax extenders package.
Combs is the president and CEO of Christian Coalition and Christian Coalition of America.