‘The time for rhetoric is over’: US solar companies demand movement on budget bill

Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer (pictured) is said to have launched a last-ditch bid to pass a reconciliation bill before the summer recess. Image: Senate Democrats.

Hundreds of US solar and energy storage companies have implored US lawmakers to pass a budget reconciliation bill containing solar downstream and manufacturing supports.

In a letter coordinated by industry trade groups, more than 400 solar and energy storage manufacturers, developers, EPCs and other companies called on members of Congress to get on with passing a bill that has been stuck in the Washington D.C. quagmire for months.

It comes amidst an industry-wide ‘day of action’, with clean energy advocates also calling congressional offices with similar requests, as lobbying efforts step up.

The letter, addressed to US President Joe Biden, speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer, stresses how the US’ solar, storage and other clean energy industries “stand ready” to develop a US power system that is cleaner, cheaper and more secure.

“Please pass the tools in reconciliation to help us make that possible,” the letter reads, finishing simply: “It’s time to get this done.”

The letter and a full list of co-signees can be read here.

Renewed lobbying efforts follow reports that Schumer has launched last-ditch efforts to break the deadlock in Senate and secure sufficient votes for the Biden administration to pass a budget reconciliation bill that is critical to the president’s policy agenda.

Senator Joe Manchin has so far stonewalled efforts to pass the bill citing its expense, however progress on issues including the cost of prescription drugs and taxation had led to speculation a broader agreement could be close with the August recess fast approaching.

Democrats will be set on passing legislation prior to November’s mid term elections.  

Of particular interest to the US solar community will be the presence of an extension for solar investment tax credits and the implementation of manufacturing incentives under the proposed Solar Energy Manufacturing for America act.

“This is a once-in-a-generation window for leaders in Washington to deliver on their promise to tackle climate change, create clean energy jobs and ease the tight grip of inflation and the global energy crisis,” Abigail Ross Hopper, president of the Solar Energy Industries Association, said, noting that concerns over soaring inflation and a global energy crisis demanded lawmakers “finally get these policies over the finish line”.

“The time for rhetoric is over, and the only thing left is to cut a deal,” Hopper said.

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