Letter to the Hon. Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Hon. Steny H. Hoyer, Majority Leader of the House of Representatives - Reps. Levin, Blumenauer, and Cartwright Lead 177 Members of Congress in Calling for Clean Energy Industry Relief Wind turbine and blue sky


By: Ron Kind, Mark Pocan, Denny Heck, Adam Smith, Kim Schrier, Pramila Jayapal, Derek Kilmer, Rick Larsen, Suzan DelBene, Peter Welch, Gerry Connolly, Jennifer Wexton, Don Beyer, Jr., Abigail Spanberger, Donald McEachin, Bobby Scott, Veronica Escobar, Vicente Gonzalez, Lizzie Fletcher, Steve Cohen, Jim Langevin, David Cicilline, Mike Doyle, Jr., Matt Cartwright, Susan Wild, Mary Scanlon, Dwight Evans, Peter DeFazio, Earl Blumenauer, Suzanne Bonamici, Marcy Kaptur, Joyce Beatty, Brian Higgins, Joe Morelle, Paul Tonko, Eliot Engel, José Serrano, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Adriano Espaillat, Carolyn Maloney, Jerry Nadler, Yvette Clarke, Hakeem Jeffries, Nydia Velázquez, Grace Meng, Gregory Meeks, Thomas Suozzi, Steven Horsford, Susie Lee, Dina Titus, Ben Lujan, Jr., Deb Haaland, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Bill Pascrell, Jr., Albio Sires, Tom Malinowski, Frank Pallone, Jr., Joshua Gottheimer, Andy Kim, Donald Norcross, Annie Kuster, Chris Pappas, Alma Adams, David Price, G. K. Butterfield, Jr., Bennie Thompson, Emanuel Cleaver II, Lacy Clay, Jr., Ilhan Omar, Betty McCollum, Angie Craig, Brenda Lawrence, Rashida Tlaib, Debbie Dingell, Haley Stevens, Elissa Slotkin, Dan Kildee, Chellie Pingree, Jamie Raskin, David Trone, Anthony Brown, John Sarbanes, Dutch Ruppersberger, Bill Keating, Stephen Lynch, Ayanna Pressley, Seth Moulton, Katherine Clark, Joe Kennedy III, Lori Trahan, Jim McGovern, Cedric Richmond, John Yarmuth, Sharice Davids, André Carson, Cheri Bustos, Lauren Underwood, Bill Foster, Brad Schneider, Jan Schakowsky, Raja Krishnamoorthi, Danny Davis, Sean Casten, Mike Quigley, Chuy Garcia, Dan Lipinski, Bobby Rush, Cindy Axne, Dave Loebsack, Abby Finkenauer, Ed Case, Michael San Nicolas, David Scott, Donna Shalala, Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Ted Deutch, Alcee Hastings, Sr., Kathy Castor, Charlie Crist, Jr., Darren Soto, Stephanie Murphy, Lisa Blunt Rochester, Eleanor Norton, Jahana Hayes, Jim Himes, Rosa DeLauro, Joe Courtney, John Larson, Ed Perlmutter, Jason Crow, Joe Neguse, Diana DeGette, Susan Davis, Scott Peters, Juan Vargas, Harley Rouda, Alan Lowenthal, Lou Correa, Katie Porter, Nanette Barragán, Maxine Waters, Mark Takano, Gil Cisneros, Linda Sánchez, Karen Bass, Raul Ruiz, Norma Torres, Jimmy Gomez, Ted Lieu, Grace Napolitano, Pete Aguilar, Brad Sherman, Tony Cárdenas, Adam Schiff, Judy Chu, Julia Brownley, Salud Carbajal, T.J. Cox, Jimmy Panetta, Zoe Lofgren, Anna Eshoo, Ro Khanna, Jim Costa, Eric Swalwell, Jackie Speier, Barbara Lee, Mark DeSaulnier, Josh Harder, Jerry McNerney, Ami Bera, Doris Matsui, Jared Huffman, Greg Stanton, Ruben Gallego, Raul Grijalva, Ann Kirkpatrick, Terri Sewell, Mike Levin
Date: June 15, 2020
Location: Washington, DC

Dear Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Hoyer:

We write today regarding the devastating impacts of COVID-19 on jobs in the clean energy industry. Your leadership has steered our nation through this unprecedented health emergency, and, as Congress debates legislation to respond to the economic impacts of the pandemic, we urge you to ensure that this crucial sector is given economic relief.

The clean energy industry, which includes renewable energy, clean vehicles, energy efficiency, and energy storage, is an integral and broad part of the American economy. Before the current crisis, this sector employed 3.4 million people, two thirds of whom worked at companies with less than 20 employees. These were blue-collar and white-collar jobs in every state of the country. Over the past five years, this sector grew at a rate that is 70% higher than the national average, particularly in states such as California, Florida, Georgia, Texas, Michigan, North Carolina, and Ohio.

However, the current crisis has decimated the clean energy industry. We are particularly alarmed at a recent analysis showing that the industry has already lost 594,300 jobs through April, and is on a path to lose additional jobs by the end of June. (1) Clean energy jobs are being lost at a rate faster than the national average, revealing COVID-19's disproportionate impact on this vulnerable industry.

Your leadership has provided relief to millions of Americans through the enactment of the Paycheck Protection Program, direct payments to many Americans, an expansion of our nation's safety net, free coronavirus testing, and expanding lending authority for the Federal Reserve and the Department of the Treasury (Treasury). Unfortunately, the industries that make up the clean energy sector rely on capital-intensive projects that require significant upfront costs. Many of these projects are in limbo due to constrained financing and supply chains, and many companies fear imminent cancellations. Others are on pause in order to abide by social distancing requirements or due to delays in permitting because of COVID-19. This sector is also facing tax credit deadlines and reductions, which are forcing the industry to restrict investment instead of quickly rehiring laid-off workers.

To put it simply, this is a project pipeline problem -- if these companies do not have projects to work on, they cannot keep their workers employed. We urge you to enact a series of policies that will provide relief and certainty to this sector. This includes providing relief and certainty for constrained tax equity financing by allowing tax credits to be received as a direct payment. Additionally, by delaying the phasedown of existing renewable energy tax incentives, we can ensure that we actually see the benefits of policies and provide more certainty.

You have fought for the clean energy industry time and time again, and your work has ensured that this industry has become a cornerstone of the American economy. Now this industry needs economic relief, and Congress must act soon. 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.

Thank you for your consideration of our request.

(1) Jordan, P. (2020, May 13). Clean Energy Employment Initial Impacts from the COVID-19 Economic Crisis. [BW] Research Partnership.