Jul 23 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Martha McSally (R-AZ), and Richard Burr (R-NC) sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) urging the consideration of policies that will bolster jobs and innovation across the clean energy economy including renewables, nuclear, carbon capture, efficiency, advanced transportation, and energy storage in the next COVID-19 relief package.

“Clean energy companies and workers play an integral role in U.S. energy independence and diversification,”wrote the Senators. “Unfortunately, the clean energy sector has seen massive job losses – an estimated 500,000 jobs lost since the start of the COVID-19 crisis.”

The Senators continued, “As we focus on getting the country back to work, we must include an industry that had already been putting Americans to work faster, and in more places, than the overall economy before the COVID pandemic hit. Clean energy job growth had outpaced the economy by 70 percent over the past five years. Further, this growth is truly nationwide, encompassing every state."

Read the full letter HERE and below.

Dear Leader McConnell,

As Congress considers specific and effective COVID-19 relief and recovery proposals, we urge you to consider policies that will bolster jobs and innovation across the clean energy economy including renewables, nuclear, carbon capture, efficiency, advanced transportation, and energy storage.

Clean energy companies and workers play an integral role in U.S. energy independence and diversification. Unfortunately, the clean energy sector has seen massive job losses – an estimated 500,000 jobs lost since the start of the COVID-19 crisis. 

We understand there are limited funds available for further relief and recovery packages, with a growing sentiment that immediate needs should be addressed with an eye to longer-term deficits. It is important to note, therefore, that investments in clean energy would be fiscally prudent.

Federal legislation targeting the clean energy sector will leverage private funds to ensure both large-scale direct employment gains and broader economic growth. Federal investments in clean energy have provided strong taxpayer returns, while also providing critical and sustained job growth. The economic recovery of the country is dependent on accomplishing these goals.

As we focus on getting the country back to work, we must include an industry that had already been putting Americans to work faster, and in more places, than the overall economy before the COVID pandemic hit. Clean energy job growth had outpaced the economy by 70 percent over the past five years.  Further, this growth is truly nationwide, encompassing every state. 

Unfortunately, COVID-driven layoffs and furloughs are already underway in the clean energy sector. The 500,000 jobs lost in the past three months is devastating to the industry. Thousands more jobs are in jeopardy and this crisis threatens the pipeline of new clean energy projects, which often take years to create in a way that can draw investment from private enterprise. All of this work is now being undermined in the blink of an eye.  

Continuing to scale up the clean energy sector would grow jobs, support U.S. energy independence, economic resilience, and will be essential for global competitiveness. We respectfully ask your consideration of the clean energy sector – which employs millions of Americans nationwide – in any upcoming relief and recovery bill.

Sincerely,

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