Climate Change Demands Center Stage: The Need for Urgent Congressional Action

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The past few months have been a roller coaster ride for the solar industry. After record installations last year, stalled legislation in Congress and a trade investigation at the Department of Commerce created uncertainty and disruption at a time when we should be full speed ahead toward our climate goals. 

Now, with the introduction of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, Congress is on the cusp of passing legislation that recognizes the urgency of the moment and responds appropriately. For far too long, we have been failing the planet and our communities and foregoing an opportunity to be global leaders in the fight to slow climate change. Now we have an opportunity to dramatically change course and put in place policies essential to enabling a rapid transition to a clean energy future that avoids the worst climate impacts. The United States, in fact the world, needs Congress to pass this bill now. Time is no longer on our side. 

We’re seeing climate impacts across the country and around the world that are affecting lives and livelihoods, disrupting critical infrastructure and supply chains. And we cannot sit idly by. These impacts will not abate without coordinated, sustained, and aggressive action. 

The proposed legislation is a critical first step. Not only would it address some of the nation’s most critical short-term economic needs, but it would transform the clean energy economy and position us to meet the biggest challenge we face – climate change. Provisions like the extension of the solar investment tax credit (ITC), the creation of standalone tax credits for energy storage and grid interconnection, policies that direct benefits to people living in low- and moderate-income and energy transition communities, and investments and incentives to grow U.S. solar manufacturing will accelerate the deployment of clean energy technology, significantly increase domestic manufacturing capacity, and put us on a path toward meaningful emissions reductions. Now more than ever we need to take action to strengthen our economy and avoid the inaction already imperiling it. Now more than ever we need to take action to strengthen our economy and avoid the inaction already imperiling it. 

Implementing these policies is not just the moral thing to do, it is the smart thing to do. The provisions in the reconciliation bill provide for a just and equitable clean energy transition, and will spur much needed economic activity in communities across the country, cost effectively reduce emissions, and reduce energy prices at a time when consumers need it most. 

There is so much critical work to be done and we have no time to lose. As we witness the negative effects of climate change worldwide and feel the global consequences of energy dependence, we see that the only path forward is one where we control our own energy generation and do it with resources that are truly renewable. It is absolutely critical that all stakeholders—private sector, trades, and environmental justice organizations—remain focused on delivering an ambitious climate and clean energy agenda. Working together, we can seize this generational opportunity to create a more sustainable, just, and equitable economy that is resilient to future shocks, no matter what form they take.  

Solar, wind, and energy storage have the potential to transform our world and solve many of the challenges we face as a nation, but a successful transition will take vision, commitment, and investment. The time to act is now, and it’s up to all of us to build the bright future our children deserve. That’s why Congress must pass the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 that will put us on a path to the clean energy future we need. 

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