(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-08) today joined Reps. Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Matt Cartwright (PA-08), and Mike Levin (CA-49) and180 lawmakers in requesting economic relief for the clean energy industry, which has been severely hit by the COVID-19 crisis.
The clean energy industry, which includes renewable energy, clean vehicles, energy efficiency, and energy storage, employed 3.4 million people before the pandemic, two thirds of whom worked at companies with less than 20 employees. A recent economic analysis shows that the industry has already lost over half a million jobs and is on path to continue these job losses through June.
"The clean energy industry has overcome challenges time and time again, and Congress has always stood by to ensure that the United States see the benefits of this crucial sector. Now, at a time of tremendous economic uncertainty, when we are seeing alarming job losses, this industry needs our help,” said Rep. Blumenauer. “I will not stop fighting to ensure that resources like wind and solar receive critical economic relief during this crisis and continue to provide Americans with clean air and workers with good jobs."
“We have to continue to support clean energy jobs during this time of economic uncertainty,” said Rep. Cartwright. “This proposal is a win-win, protecting American jobs and families while working toward a modern and clean energy future. I thank Representatives Blumenauer and Levin for their partnership, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to promote clean energy job growth.”
“As the coronavirus pandemic continues to undermine every sector of our economy, we cannot forget about the clean energy workers who are so desperately needed to help combat the climate crisis and protect our planet for future generations,” said Rep. Levin. “With more support and resources for clean energy, we can save thousands of good American jobs, create new ones, and ensure that we don’t go backward in our fight against the climate crisis, but we must act now. I’m proud to lead that effort with my friends Reps. Blumenauer and Cartwright.”
The letter advocates for specific economic relief measures that will help the clean industry weather the COVID-19 crisis. Specifically, it requests for existing energy tax credits to be converted to direct payments, and for Congress to delay the phasedown of these tax incentives to ensure their benefits are seen by the American people.
To read the full text of the letter, click here.