180 Democrats ask House leadership for clean energy assistance

180 Democrats ask House leadership for clean energy assistance
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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 PelosiAs coronavirus surges, Trump tries to dismantle healthcare for millions Sunday shows preview: Coronavirus poses questions about school safety; Trump commutes Roger Stone sentence Pelosi plans legislation to limit pardons, commutations after Roger Stone move MORE (D-Calif.) and Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerMexico's president uses US visit to tout ties with Trump Amy Kennedy wins NJ primary to face GOP's Van Drew House Democrat calls for 'real adult discussion' on lawmaker pay 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.”

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“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 BlumenauerChuck E. Cheese files for bankruptcy protection Bipartisan bill introduced to provide 0B in relief for restaurants OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Dems press Trump consumer safety nominee on chemical issues | Lawmakers weigh how to help struggling energy industry | 180 Democrats ask House leadership for clean energy assistance MORE (D-Ore.), and Matt CartwrightMatthew (Matt) Alton CartwrightFive takeaways from PPP loan data Lawmaker-linked businesses received PPP loans OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Dems press Trump consumer safety nominee on chemical issues | Lawmakers weigh how to help struggling energy industry | 180 Democrats ask House leadership for clean energy assistance 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. 

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

Last month, Republican Sens. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiSixth GOP senator unlikely to attend Republican convention Koch-backed group urges Senate to oppose 'bailouts' of states in new ads The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Trump backs another T stimulus, urges governors to reopen schools MORE (Alaska), Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsMore Republicans should support crisis aid for the Postal Service GOP senators voice confidence over uphill Senate battle Republicans considering an outdoor stadium for Florida convention: report MORE (Maine) and Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisDemocrats seek to tie GOP candidates to Trump, DeVos Senate GOP hedges on attending Trump's convention amid coronavirus uptick Lincoln Project offers list of GOP senators who 'protect' Trump in new ad MORE (N.C.) wrote to Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinOn The Money: Supreme Court upholds NY prosecutors' access to Trump's tax returns, rebuffs Congress | Trump complains of 'political prosecution' | Biden rebukes Trump, rolls out jobs plan Mnuchin: Next stimulus bill must cap jobless benefits at 100 percent of previous income Why Trump can't make up his mind on China 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 CruzOh, Canada: Should the US emulate Canada's National Health Service? Trump tweets his support for Goya Foods amid boycott Trump says he'll sign order with 'road to citizenship' for DACA recipients 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.