CRIST LEADS FLORIDA DEMOCRATS TO STOP SOLAR SUNSET

Washington, DC – U.S. Representative Charlie Crist (D-St. Petersburg) led a letter signed by all 13 Democratic members of the Florida Congressional delegation urging an extension of the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) before the end of the year. In the letter, the Members cite the solar credit’s unique and critical role in the health of Florida’s environment, economy, and future.  In addition to being extremely vulnerable to climate change, Florida is #2 in the nation for solar jobs and projected solar deployment over the next five years. The Solar ITC is scheduled to begin to sunset from 30 percent to 26 percent at the end of this year – just 27 days from now.

“Allowing this phase-down to begin would stunt the continued growth of the solar industry – something that will be particularly harmful in Florida,” the Members wrote. “Failure to extend the ITC will also make it more difficult to reach net zero emissions by 2050. According to Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables, extending the ITC would drive $87 billion in economic activity, create 113,000 jobs, and offset 363 million metric tons of carbon emissions over the next ten years – or roughly 21% of all U.S. electric emissions.”

The Members continue, “It’s no secret that Florida is already feeling the impacts of climate change. Rising seas, severe weather events, and harmful algae blooms have become daily realities for our constituents. A 2018 report from the International Panel on Climate Change found that “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented” policy reforms are needed in order to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. This includes reaching net zero emissions of carbon dioxide by 2050. One of the fastest and simplest ways to do this is to incentivize a transition to a clean energy economy – and the ITC is a powerful federal tool available to help us meet that goal.”

The Members’ full letter can be viewed here, the text of which appearing below.

 

December 4, 2019

 

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi                                      The Honorable Steny Hoyer

Speaker                                                                       Majority Leader

U.S. House of Representatives                                   U.S. House of Representatives

Washington, DC 20515                                              Washington, DC 20515

                                                          

Dear Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Hoyer,

As representatives from the Sunshine State, we write today to urge you to support an extension of the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for solar energy within end-of-year, must-pass legislation. We are specifically requesting your support during negotiations with the Senate for the five-year extension included in Chairman Thompson’s GREEN Act discussion draft.[1] While there are a number of critical clean energy tax incentives also included in the discussion draft, we are particularly excited about the benefits that an extended solar ITC will provide.

It’s no secret that Florida is already feeling the impacts of climate change. Rising seas, severe weather events, and harmful algae blooms have become daily realities for our constituents. A 2018 report from the International Panel on Climate Change found that “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented” policy reforms are needed in order to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. This includes reaching net zero emissions of carbon dioxide by 2050.[2] One of the fastest and simplest ways to do this is to incentivize a transition to a clean energy economy – and the ITC is a powerful federal tool available to help us meet that goal.

The ITC, which was enacted in 2006, is an environmental and economic success story. Thanks to the ITC, the solar industry has grown more than 10,000% since its inception, with an average growth of 52% per year.[3] The resulting increase in solar deployment helps to reduce emissions and combat climate change – critical to the health of Florida’s environment, economy, and future.

In addition to the environmental benefits, the ITC has far-reaching economic impacts. The ITC has helped create more than 200,000 jobs nationwide and added $140 billion to the economy.[4] While Florida’s solar deployment had previously lagged behind other states, it currently ranks second in the nation for number of solar jobs and, most significantly, ranks second for projected solar deployment over the next five years.[5]

Unfortunately, despite the progress that has been made, solar deployment remains limited at 2.3% of generation nationwide, and the ITC is set to begin phasing-down at the end of this year. Allowing this phase-down to begin would stunt the continued growth of the solar industry – something that will be particularly harmful in Florida. Failure to extend the ITC will also make it more difficult to reach net zero emissions by 2050. According to Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables, extending the ITC would drive $87 billion in economic activity, create 113,000 jobs, and offset 363 million metric tons of carbon emissions over the next ten years – or roughly 21% of all U.S. electric emissions.[6]

It is clear that solar energy is a critical tool in our fight against climate change and in our move toward a clean energy economy. For these reasons, we urge you to support a five-year extension of the solar energy ITC within end-of-year, must-pass legislation.

 

Sincerely,

 

________________________­­___                                          ___________________________

Charlie Crist (FL-13)                                                              Alcee L. Hastings (FL-20)

MEMBER OF CONGRESS                                                   MEMBER OF CONGRESS

 

 

___________________________                                          ___________________________

Darren Soto (FL-9)                                                                 Donna E. Shalala (FL-27)

MEMBER OF CONGRESS                                                   MEMBER OF CONGRESS

 

 

___________________________                                          ___________________________

Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23)                                      Kathy Castor (FL-14)

MEMBER OF CONGRESS                                                  MEMBER OF CONGRESS                           

 

 

___________________________                                          ___________________________

Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (FL-26)                                           Lois Frankel (FL-21)

MEMBER OF CONGRESS                                                   MEMBER OF CONGRESS

 

 

________________________­­___                                          ___________________________

Al Lawson (FL-5)                                                                   Frederica S. Wilson (FL-24)

MEMBER OF CONGRESS                                                   MEMBER OF CONGRESS

 

 

___________________________                                          ___________________________

Ted Deutch (FL-22)                                                                Val Demings (FL-10)

MEMBER OF CONGRESS                                                   MEMBER OF CONGRESS

 

 

___________________________

Stephanie Murphy (FL-7)                                          

MEMBER OF CONGRESS

 

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