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E&E News: Future Stimulus Bills Could Address Climate. Here's Why

Posted by Jean Chemnick on Mar 27, 2020

E&E News covered the $2 trillion stimulus bill noting AEE CEO Nat Kreamer's open letter to Congress, the administration, and quoting AEE's Dylan Reed. Read excerpts below and the entire E&E News piece here (sub. req.)

The historic $2 trillion rescue bill moving through the House today was probably never going to be a green stimulus bonanza. But when the short-term crisis is over, Congress and the White House will have to turn their attention to the resulting recession, if not depression. And that's when the debate will begin in earnest over whether recovery legislation should create jobs by propping up flagging petroleum and coal producers or by helping the renewable energy sector. It's those recovery packages — which are likely to come over the next year, when the balance of power in Washington may have changed — that will hash out whether companies that tap into federal aid must improve their climate performance...

Nat Kreamer, CEO of Advanced Energy Economy, sent a letter to lawmakers this week asking them to convert renewable energy tax credits into direct cash payments. His argument was based on the possibility that tax equity markets could dry up in an economic downturn. "Advanced energy supply chains have also been disrupted by the pandemic, and we've heard that utilities are suspending home energy efficiency programs out of concern of spreading the virus, and manufacturing, including for electric vehicles, has been shuttered in multiple states," said Dylan Reed, a director with Advanced Energy Economy.

The largest green energy spending bill in U.S. history was the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which directed $90 billion to investments, tax incentives and advanced energy loan guarantees. The failure of one loan guarantee recipient, Solyndra, grabbed headlines, but the program provided a substantial profit to the U.S. Treasury...

Read the entire E&E News piece here (sub. req.)

Topics: AEE In The News