SPONSORED:

180 Democrats ask House leadership for clean energy assistance

180 Democrats ask House leadership for clean energy assistance
© Getty Images

A group of 180 Democratic lawmakers penned a letter to House leadership asking for congressional action to help the “decimated” clean energy sector, which has lost hundreds of thousands of jobs amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

A vast majority of the chamber’s Democratic delegation wrote to Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTrump and advisers considering firing FBI director after election: WaPo On The Money: Power players play chess match on COVID-19 aid | Pelosi bullish, Trump tempers optimism | Analysis: Nearly 1M have run out of jobless benefits Overnight Health Care: CDC expands definition of 'close contact' after COVID-19 report | GOP coronavirus bill blocked in Senate | OxyContin maker agrees to B settlement with Trump administration MORE (D-Calif.) and Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerTop Democrats introduce resolution calling for mask mandate, testing program in Senate Trump orders aides to halt talks on COVID-19 relief This week: Coronavirus complicates Senate's Supreme Court fight MORE (D-Md.) asking specifically for tax credits to be received as direct payments and a delay to a phase-down of renewable energy tax incentives.

“The current crisis has decimated the clean energy industry,” they wrote, citing analysis from last month that found nearly 600,000 clean energy jobs had been lost since the pandemic began. “Clean energy jobs are being lost at a rate faster than the national average, revealing COVID-19’s disproportionate impact on this vulnerable industry.”

ADVERTISEMENT

“Investments in clean energy pay back dividends because of the breadth and geography that are impacted – either job losses will devastate the communities we represent, or economic relief for this sector will help them weather this crisis,” continued the letter, which was led by Reps. Reps. Mike Levin (D-Calif.), Earl BlumenauerEarl BlumenauerRestaurants brace for long COVID-19 winter Ahead of a coronavirus vaccine, Mexico's drug pricing to have far-reaching impacts on Americans Trump threatens to double down on Portland in other major cities MORE (D-Ore.), and Matt CartwrightMatthew (Matt) Alton CartwrightThe Hill's Campaign Report: Democrats break fundraising records in Senate races Races heat up for House leadership posts Trump Jr. seeks to elect 'new blood' to Republican Party MORE (D-Pa.). 

Hoyer told The Hill in a statement that he "strongly" supports "efforts to provide the clean energy sector with the resources it needs to keep workers on the job and I believe that investing in clean energy should be a key part of our economic recovery."

"I will continue to work with my colleagues to put our country on the path to net-zero emissions and ensure this industry and its workers — like so many others — has the relief it needs as we weather this public health crisis,” he added.

The letter follows the House passage last month of a coronavirus stimulus package that did not include specific assistance for the sector, something that was criticized by environmentalists

“The $3T bill just released by the House contains many important priorities for the country, and though it includes a lengthy tax section, it unfortunately leaves out COVID-19 related assistance that could save clean energy jobs,” Sierra Club Legislative Director Melinda Pierce said in a statement at the time. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Meanwhile, it’s not just Democrats who have pushed for assistance for the clean energy sector. 

Last month, Republican Sens. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiDemocrats to boycott committee vote on Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court nomination Senate to vote Monday to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to Supreme Court Senate GOP eyes Oct. 26 for confirming Barrett to Supreme Court MORE (Alaska), Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsDemocrats to boycott committee vote on Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court nomination Power players play chess match on COVID-19 aid Senate is leaning to the Democrats, big time, with a wave MORE (Maine) and Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisGOP coronavirus bill blocked as deal remains elusive Senate is leaning to the Democrats, big time, with a wave Cunningham, Tillis locked in tight race in North Carolina: poll MORE (N.C.) wrote to Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinTrump and advisers considering firing FBI director after election: WaPo Trump casts doubt on hopes for quick stimulus deal after aides expressed optimism Power players play chess match on COVID-19 aid MORE asking for tax-related assistance for renewable energy projects. 

Shortly thereafter, the Treasury Department and IRS gave renewables more time to take advantage of certain tax credits. 

However, some members of the GOP have been critical of assisting the sector. 

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzQuinnipiac poll finds Biden, Trump tied in Texas China could cut our access to critical minerals at any time — here's why we need to act The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Goldman Sachs - Two weeks out, Trump attempts to rally the base MORE (R-Texas) in March, amid negotiations over an earlier stimulus package, accused Democrats of being “willing to extort a crisis to try to advance their political agenda” and argued that wind and solar tax credits do not have anything to do with the outbreak.