ACORE CEO Greg Wetstone Testifies Before Congress, Highlights Sobering Toll of COVID-19 on Renewable Energy Jobs and Calls for Immediate Action

By: Daniel WolfJune 25, 2020

Hearing witnesses consisted of Ernest Moniz, former Secretary of Energy and existing Energy Futures Initiative President and CEO; Rich Powell, ClearPath Executive Director; and our own Greg Wetstone, ACORE President and CEO.

In his testimony, ACOREs Wetstone noted that renewable resource has comprised more than half of all new U.S. power generation capability over the past decade, and now represents 19 percent of the countrys electrical power resource mix. As one of the countrys biggest sources of economic sector infrastructure investment, the eco-friendly sector uses nearly 550,000 Americans employees in every state of the nation.

The Energy Subcommittee of your home Committee on Energy and Commerce held a hearing entitled, “Reviving our Economy: COVID-19s Impact on the Energy Sector.”

ClearPaths Powell stated in his statement that he accepted a technology-inclusive agenda, detailing four crucial paths for Congress to assist reboot the U.S. energy economy. These included promoting innovation through a program of innovation presentations, getting rid of unneeded regulatory difficulties that slow job advancement, releasing innovation to prove it at scale and bring down expenses, and exporting technologies to brand-new tidy energy markets.

Recently, the Energy Subcommittee of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce held a hearing entitled, “Reviving our Economy: COVID-19s Impact on the Energy Sector.” Witnesses consisted of Ernest Moniz, former Secretary of Energy and existing Energy Futures Initiative President and CEO; Rich Powell, ClearPath Executive Director; and our own Greg Wetstone, ACORE President and CEO. The Committees focus on our countrys energy sector in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic highlights the growing bipartisan awareness of the requirement for immediate emergency relief for the renewable energy market and its labor force.

Subcommittee Chairman Bobby Rush (D-IL) characterized the hearing as an opportunity to analyze the prevalent impacts of COVID-19 on our nations economy, which has hit the clean energy sector especially hard. Chairman Rush specified, “According to recent data, this market … has lost over 600,000 tasks since March. Even more, without intervention, forecasts suggest that 1 out of every 4 clean energy employees may soon lose their jobs as an outcome of COVID-19. To put this into point of view, that is nearly a million difficult working Americans who will be out of work.” These numbers are supported by an analysis of federal joblessness data by BW Research and launched by ACORE, E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs), and E4TheFuture the day prior to the hearing revealing that the clean energy sector lost more than 620,000 tasks over the months of March, April, and May.

In his opening statement, complete Committee Chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) highlighted how the pandemic has removed years of development on tidy energy and echoed Rushs require Congress to purchase tidy energy facilities to put individuals back to work. He mentioned the Committees deal with the LIFT America Act legislation meant to assist reconstruct America through financial investments in combating environment change and safeguarding public health and the environment. Maybe most notably, Chairman Pallone expressed support for extending renewable resource tax credits. “While recent action by the Department of the Treasury to delay certain in-service dates has actually helped, the clean energy market needs certainty and assistance,” Pallone stated during his opening statement. “I think its important that any recovery plan include an extension of these expiring tax credits.” This declaration echoes growing calls by House Democrats to postpone the phasedown schedule for existing renewable resource credits due to COVID-19 effect on renewable advancement this year.

Secretary Monizs testament stressed that federal action would be needed to assist stem the enormous task losses brought on by the pandemic, consisting of investments through future stimulus costs and Congressional appropriations. Moniz argued for increased R&D financing to help develop the innovations and markets of tomorrow, and the significance of renewable resource leading the healing, because decarbonizing other industries will progressively count on electrification in the coming decades. In action to a question from Chairman Pallone on the significance of federal assistance for the sector, the Secretary pointed out how direct federal investment of over $90 billion under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in the midst of the Great Recession assisted fuel our financial healing and create the robust tidy energy sector we see today.

The analysis of data on joblessness filings carried out by E2 and BW Research shows that nearly 100,000 renewable energy workers lost their jobs over the past 3 months, equating to an eco-friendly sector unemployment rate of practically 20 percent. In order to construct on Treasury Secretary Mnuchins current decision to supply an extra year of safe harbor connection for 2016 and 2017 renewable tasks, Wetstone called on Congress to:

Provide short-term refundability for eco-friendly tax credits dealing with a progressively constrained tax equity market; and

View a recording of Greg Wetstones statement here. Read his written statement here

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Throughout Q&A, Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX) captured the growing bipartisan agreement in support of sustainable power when he observed that “The previous 3 months have actually been extremely rough here in TX-22. Now we are number one in wind production for the whole country by far … solar is growing quickly as well … so we embrace all-of-the above in renewables.”

Delay the scheduled phasedown of the Production Tax Credit (PTC) and the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) in acknowledgment of COVID-19s across the country effect on sustainable development this year.

Witnesses consisted of Ernest Moniz, former Secretary of Energy and current Energy Futures Initiative President and CEO; Rich Powell, ClearPath Executive Director; and our own Greg Wetstone, ACORE President and CEO. The Committees focus on our countrys energy sector in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic highlights the growing bipartisan awareness of the need for immediate emergency relief for the sustainable energy industry and its workforce.

As sustainable energy broadens in every state, bipartisan political assistance expands with it. ACORE will continue to highlight the effect that COVID-19 is having on the eco-friendly sector and advance policy solutions to reduce those impacts. With the right policy assistance, the renewable resource sector can help drive recovery from the present financial slump, as we carried out in 2009, and lead the way to an efficient climate option over the long haul.

In his opening statement, full Committee Chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) highlighted how the pandemic has erased years of development on clean energy and echoed Rushs call for Congress to invest in tidy energy facilities to put people back to work. The analysis of data on joblessness filings carried out by E2 and BW Research reveals that almost 100,000 renewable energy employees lost their tasks over the past three months, relating to a renewable sector joblessness rate of nearly 20 percent. With the ideal policy assistance, the eco-friendly energy sector can assist drive recovery from the current economic decline, as we did in 2009, and lead the way to a reliable environment solution over the long haul.

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