Sen. Joe Manchin kills another chance for expanded solar incentives
On July 14, Senator Joe Manchin “unequivocally” rejected the idea of approving Democrats’ proposed energy investments and tax increases in the budget alignment legislation in July or August, according to the Politics. Manchin only agreed to a deal that would include health care measures but not climate issues, citing concerns about inflation stemming from any additional spending.
Solar and environmental groups expressed their disappointment.
“The news that significant climate policy will not be part of a fiscal reconciliation bill is devastating to so many people, especially in light of the devastating effects of climate change and inflation that are now adversely affecting every American,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of SEIA, in a statement. “Starting today, we hope, however small, that members of Congress will recognize the urgency of the moment and do what needs to be done to pass meaningful climate and clean energy legislation this year.
“While we are deeply disappointed, we ask that members of Congress stay at the table for as long as it takes, through any political machinations, to get clean energy policies across the finish line. The stakes for all American communities are simply too high for us to give up on this fight and we will aggressively seek solutions wherever they are and for as long as it takes,” she continued.
Residential Renewables for All (RRFA) is a non-profit organization that has focused on enacting solar tax refundability. The group expressed its anger at Manchin’s decision.
“Last night’s report that climate regulations and tax incentives for renewable energy in homes will be removed from the Reconciliation Act is a major defeat for millions of American households looking to lower sky-high energy bills, build healthier communities and protect our climate. The transition from 25D affordability would have enabled all families, regardless of their income level, to make the transition to an affordable and green energy solution. This common sense provision would have helped fight inflation, help working families make ends meet and respond to the climate crisis. Not making it is as reckless as it is disappointing,” the RRFA said in a statement.
“Our struggle to ensure that all communities can play a part in our country’s clean energy revolution doesn’t end here. The president can and must do more through executive action, and we will continue to urge Congress, state legislators and business to rapidly decarbonize our economy — for the sake of families and the planet.”
Vote Solar condemned the decision, but promised to continue fighting for solar policy.
“Americans overwhelmingly want climate action and support major investments in the clean energy economy — and that includes West Virginia,” said Vote Solar lead program director Sean Garren. “Sen. Manchin has turned its back on the will of the people, but history has taught us that with time and dedicated work, the people always win. For now, we will continue to build strength for climate and energy justice as we make concrete progress in states across the country. The health, prosperity and safety of current and future generations demand it.”