We’ve written a lot about the benefits of the Federal government’s Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which for years has given owners of solar installations 30% of their costs back as income tax credits. The ITC is the most successful solar policy in our nation’s history. It is largely responsible for huge declines in the cost of installing solar, and for the growth of an important new industry, with thousands of good-paying jobs that have helped our economy at a critical time.
And it is going away at the end of next year. Or at least, we thought it was…
The ITC was set to expire at the end of 2016 for homeowners, and to be reduced from 30% to 10% for commercial interests. We’ve advocated for it to be extended into the future at the full 30%, because we think it’s vitally important to continue helping the solar industry as is grows. And today, it looks like a deal has been reached to extend the ITC until 2022.
But rather than celebrate today’s agreement, we have to tell you about why it’s a dirty deal, and beg you to contact your congressional representatives and ask them to get it out of there. Here’s the skinny:
The Omnibus Spending Bill set for a vote this week in the House includes a provision to extend the ITC, but in exchange for conceding to that amendment, Congressional Republicans inserted language that lifts a 40-year ban on oil exports. That’s bad, because the increase in domestic oil production that is likely to follow could result in carbon emissions that far outweigh the positive impact of the ITC extension, not to mention billions of dollars of profits for oil companies and the loss of good union jobs to outsourced labor.
At this point, it looks like it’s all done but the signing, but we’re asking you to do us, yourself, your kids, and your great-great-great grandkids a solid: find out who your representative is and send them an email asking them to nix the language ending the oil ban. Tell them it’s not okay to trade the future of the world for something that the vast majority of all Americans of any political affiliation agree with.
Last modified: February 28, 2018