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Politico: Clean Energy Backers' Anger Grows as House Ignores Aid Plea

Posted by Anthony Adragna, Gavin Bade and Eric Wolff on May 21, 2020

Politico covered the lack of stimulus for the clean energy industry by House Democrats, despite aid for other sectors, quoting AEE's Dylan Reed. Read excerpts below and the entire Politico piece here. 

Clean energy companies and advocates are blasting Democrats in the House for neglecting to give the industry any help in its pandemic relief bills, even as the sector reports hundreds of thousands of job losses and the chamber offers aid to sectors like cannabis and biofuels. 

Some industry trade associations and green groups appear content to wait for a future aid bill. But other clean energy backers say the House Democrats' latest $3 trillion bill blows another chance to help the ailing sector and at the same time push one of the party's top policy priorities of addressing climate change — and they're tired of waiting until next time...

Democratic lawmakers contend they haven’t forgotten renewable energy but say they are wrestling with an overwhelming number of sectors in dire financial need, and they expect it to be a pillar of forthcoming infrastructure legislation. Republicans have resisted further relief legislation to date. Rank-and-file Democrats in the House point out that Pelosi had said weeks ago that the HEROES Act which the chamber passed last week, would remain narrowly focused on coronavirus-related relief. However, the bill does include provisions on cannabis banking and direct relief for biofuels producers while offering nothing to clean energy, which industry groups estimated has lost nearly 600,000 jobs since the start of the pandemic.

“It’s frustrating,” said Dylan Reed, legislative director at the trade group Advanced Energy Economy. “Governing is about priorities, and we’ve had really really productive conversations with Congress about the opportunity for clean energy in the last year and a half … and yet we lose nearly 1 in 5 clean energy jobs in six weeks and the response is, 'Let’s wait until the end of summer.'”

Several House Democrats and clean energy industry leaders said they had pressed leadership in the drafting of HEROES for assistance, particularly a provision last used in 2009 that would convert the sector’s federal tax credits to direct cash grants...

Read the entire Politico piece here. 

Topics: AEE In The News