The following article from SEIA is so important a message that we have included it in its entirety in this blog. It will take the will of the people of this country to stand up for what is right and what is worthy of our generation for the good of the generations to come after us.
Today, SEIA’s President and CEO Rhone Resch testified before Congress. The hearing was meant to highlight issues pertaining to federal tax policy and the commercialization of renewable energy technology.
In his testimony, Rhone told our story – since the ITC was enacted, we’ve created over 100,000 jobs; the deployment of solar has increased seven-fold; and costs for consumers continue to fall. Things are heading in the right direction.
Yet this rational, fact-based narrative did not sit well with some members of the committee. Specifically, Congressman Andy Harris (R-MD), Chairman Energy and Environment Subcommittee, attacked solar relentlessly. Citing erroneous data that grossly overstates the cost of solar, Harris stated:
“Who is going to pay that difference for an inefficient delivery of a, of an electric, of electric generation to my seniors and my veterans and my schools. My school system has got to pay three times as much for power. They don’t have as much for books, for teachers, who is going to pay it?”
Ironically, a solar company testifying on the same panel noted how excited school officials and students were to install a solar system to power their school.
In my time in Washington, DC, I have attended hundreds of Congressional hearings. I have staffed Members of Congress and testified myself. Rarely have I seen this sort of inaccurate and vitriol hurled at an invited witness. Congressman Harris clearly did not want to hear the facts.
Rhone handled the situation as a professional, calmly defended our industry and worked to set the record straight.
But this is yet another vivid example of what we are up against. Congressman Harris is not alone in his desire to see our industry whither on the vine. Despite the fact that every other energy industry has received decades of support, there is a growing and vocal contingent in Congress that wants to kill solar. We ignore this at our own peril.
So what can you do?
We need you to get involved.
I implore you to get involved with our Grassroots Advocacy Network.
And we need you to get involved with SolarPAC so we can support federal candidates – both Republicans and Democrats – who support solar.
Finally, please forward this message to your coworkers.
Now more than ever, we need to band together as an industry. I hope I can count on your support.
B. Manning Feraci
SEIA VP, Legislative Affairs