Progressive poll finds support for solar energy tax credit legislation
A new survey from progressive pollster Data for Progress found support for a Senate bill that would provide tax credits for solar energy manufacturers at all stages of the supply chain.
The poll found that 67 percent of likely voters in the U.S. strongly or somewhat support the Solar Energy Manufacturing for America (SEMA) Act, compared to 23 percent who said they strongly or somewhat oppose the measure.
When broken down by party, the legislation carried support across the spectrum: 85 percent of Democrats and 65 percent of Independents said they support the bill. Forty-eight percent of Republicans backed the legislation as well and 39 percent said they were opposed.
To gauge public opinion on the bill, the pollster asked if respondents support or oppose the SEMA Act, noting that it “aims to create tens of thousands of new clean energy jobs in the U.S., grow demand for solar energy technologies, and increase America’s competitiveness abroad.”
The bill, introduced by Sen. Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.) in June, specifically calls for granting tax credits to American manufacturers at all steps of the solar manufacturing supply chain, including the production of polysilicon, solar cells and assembled solar modules.
The senator has said the legislation is essential for making the U.S. competitive on the international stage when it comes to renewable energy.
Ossoff is pushing for the measure to be included in Democrats’ multi-trillion dollar reconciliation package, which members of both congressional chambers are currently negotiating.
The package — which will include a number of Democratic legislative priorities, including investments in education and climate change — is being considered through reconciliation to buck a potential Republican filibuster. Only a simple majority will be needed for passage.
The new polling numbers come after the Biden administration released a new report earlier this month that showed how the U.S. can boost its use of solar power to as much as 45 percent of U.S. electricity by 2050.
The Data for Progress poll also surveyed support for the RAISE the Roof Act, which Ossoff introduced last month. The legislation aims make rooftop solar panel installations and solar integrated more affordable for homeowners and businesses.
It also seeks to expand solar tax credits to include integrated solar roofing systems and roof replacements and repairs that are needed for solar panel installations.
Reps. Mikie Sherill (D-N.J.) and Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-N.J.) introduced a companion bill in the House.
The survey found that 75 percent of respondents strongly or somewhat support the legislation, compared to 17 percent who strongly or somewhat oppose the measure.
When broken down by party, support remained high: 86 percent of Democrats, 73 percent of Independents and 65 percent of Republicans backed the measure.
The pollster gauged public backing for the legislation by asking respondents if they support a bill that helps “households and small businesses more easily install solar panels on their rooftops,” while also noting that the bill “proposes expanding the current system of federal tax credits for solar energy to include new cutting-edge solar technologies.”
The poll surveyed 1,311 likely voters nationally from Sept. 17-20. The margin of error is plus or minus three percentage points.
Updated at 4:33 p.m.