US pressure group the Alliance for Solar Choice (TASC) is mounting a nationwide campaign to persuade Congress to maintain the investment tax credit beyond its planned sunset at the end of 2016.
The body has launched a new website, weareteamsolar.com, urging legislators to support solar by including it in this year’s tax extenders legislation, a key step towards maintaining the ITC beyond the end-2016 deadline.
A bill – HR 2412 – has been introduced to the House of Representatives that would extend the ITC for residential, commercial and utility solar for five years.
The website asks Congress to “help keep solar on a level playing field” and kicks off a national campaign to compel action on the solar ITC.
TASC said that while fossil fuels enjoyed numerous federal subsidies, the solar industry had only one in the form of the ITC.
“Thousands of people are already engaging in our campaign, urging Congress to include solar in this year's tax extenders legislation,” said Evan Dube, spokesperson for The Alliance for Solar Choice. “Solar energy is critical to an all-of-the-above energy strategy, and to ensure that solar is part of the mix, the industry needs certainty from our legislators now. The solar ITC goes a small way to level the playing field against decades of fossil fuel subsidies.”
TASC said there was strong bipartisan support for including solar in this year's tax extenders legislation. Nevada Senator Dean Heller called for solar to get the same treatment as every other energy industry during a Senate Finance Committee hearing earlier this summer. Senators Maria Cantwell, Chuck Schumer, Michael Bennett, and Rob Portman have also voiced support.
US trade body the Solar Energy Industries Association is mounting a similar campaign, asking solar supporters to contact their representatives to support HR 2412.