Clean Energy Sector Makes Strong Case for Coronavirus Aid

Clean Energy Sector Makes Strong Case for Coronavirus Aid

As we have reported, the clean energy sector is down more than 620,000 jobs thanks to the coronavirus pandemic and the industry is now pushing hard for relief from Congress in the form of tax credits that companies would receive as cash payments (a deal Congress gave some companies) and delaying the phase-down of other tax incentives. 

Why This Matters:  While there may be some overcounting in jobs lost or undercounting of the number covered under the generic PPP stimulus program, there is no doubt the sector has been “decimated” as the clean energy industry claims.

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Renewable Energy Sector Has Lost 600,000 Jobs Due To COVID-19

Renewable Energy Sector Has Lost 600,000 Jobs Due To COVID-19

Using the latest Labor Department data, E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs), the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), and other analysts reported on Wednesday that 594,347 workers in clean energy occupations, representing 17.8% of the industry’s workforce, filed for unemployment benefits in April and March. 

Why This Matters:  The oil and gas industry really is the squeaky wheel getting the grease.  The number of jobs lost in that sector is likely only a fraction of those lost in the renewable energy sector.

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Interior Department Approves Largest Solar Project in the U.S.

Interior Department Approves Largest Solar Project in the U.S.

Earlier this week the Trump Administration took a break from its boosting oil and gas (they announced yesterday they are going to buy 1 million barrels of oil for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve as a “test”) to give final approval to the Gemini Solar Project – a massive $1B solar array and battery storage project situated on federal land near Las Vegas.

Why This Matters:  The project went through a streamlined environmental review process, but the final development and operations plan will minimize and mitigate impacts on visual resources, cultural and tribal resources, recreation access, air quality, native vegetation and wildlife such as the desert tortoise, a “threatened” species.

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Virginia To Greatly Expand Renewable Energy Under New State Law

Virginia To Greatly Expand Renewable Energy Under New State Law

Virginia will close all its coal-fired power plants by 2024 and its electricity will all come from renewable sources by and be 100 percent carbon-free by 2050 under a new law the Governor signed yesterday, with penalties imposed on the utilities that fail to meet these deadlines.

Why This Matters:  State government elections matter too. This is the most ambitious clean energy program enacted by a Southern state (yet).

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Coronavirus: Renewable Energy Loses Out in Stimulus

Coronavirus: Renewable Energy Loses Out in Stimulus

Yesterday, major ideological tensions flared among Senate Democrats and Republicans about what just 12 hours prior seemed to be a solid stimulus package. Despite those roadblocks, there was one clear loser in the $2 trillion relief package: the renewable energy industry. The deal for Senate Republicans taking out a $3 billion provision to buy oil […]

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McConnell Blasts Dems’ Demand That Latest Stimulus Package Include Green Provisions

McConnell Blasts Dems’ Demand That Latest Stimulus Package Include Green Provisions

The Senate was unable to agree on a bipartisan stimulus bill yesterday — negotiations apparently stalled because, among other things, the Democrats demanded that bailouts for airlines be conditioned on their lowering their emissions and that tax credits for wind and solar projects be extended.

Why This Matters:  After dragging his feet on immediate economic relief and adjourning the Senate over the weekend ten days ago, now Senator McConnell seems in a big rush to give billions to corporations while leaving workers and the environment out of the deal.

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