A bipartisan group of 231 mayors from Tacoma, Wash to Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. sent a letter to Congress today urging them to pass the Renewable Energy Extension Act (HR 3961/S. 2289), a five-year extension of the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC).
“More than 200 mayors from 39 states are stepping up to defend the ITC,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). “Mayors are increasingly turning to solar energy to fight the effects of climate change and generate millions of dollars of private investment in their cities. We’re thrilled to have their support as we fight to preserve one of the most successful clean energy policies in U.S. history.”
For years, mayors on both sides of the aisle have provided frontline support for major hurricanes, wildfires, droughts, polar vortices and more. They’ve pushed for sound, long-term solutions to these weather events, including the transition to renewable energy. In fact, 28 of the cities represented have 100% renewable energy commitments.
“As the nation’s largest municipal user of renewable energy, Houston understands that sustainability and resiliency go hand in hand,” said Sylvester Turner, Mayor of the City of Houston. “Continuing to support the growth of renewable energy will help the U.S. lead the energy transition, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and build smarter, more resilient communities.”
Mayors also understand the local, immediate impacts solar can have on families, businesses and the communities they serve. If extended, recent analysis from SEIA and Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables finds that the ITC could create an additional 113,000 jobs and $87 billion in economic investment by 2030.
“Adding Hanwha Q Cells to our manufacturing community represents much more than just jobs created,” said Dennis Mock, Mayor of the City of Dalton, Ga. “Dalton relies heavily on the carpet industry and was hit hard during the last recession. Hanwha affords Dalton the diversity in industry that will help sustain our community and gives other companies confidence in our community and the opportunity to join the budding manufacturing hub in the Southeast.”
The impact of the ITC spans the United States and transcends party affiliation. The bipartisan group of mayors represent large cities like Philadelphia and San Antonio, as well as mid-size and small cities like Wichita, Kan. and Bozeman, Mont. In addition, more than 60 mayors that signed onto the letter are working in districts that have a Republican member of Congress.
The ITC, which is scheduled to start stepping down at the end of 2019, has a proven track record of success. Since its initial passage, the ITC has created more than 200,000 American jobs, added $140 billion in private sector investment, and grown solar deployment by 10,000%.
SEIA is leading a major campaign to push members of Congress to send President Trump legislation that would extend clean energy tax credits, including the solar ITC for five years.
Learn more about SEIA’s fight to defend the solar ITC: seia.org/defendtheitc.
The following mayors also expressed their strong support for the solar Investment Tax Credit:
“Improving our use of Solar Energy is essential to us maintaining a sustainable and stable, healthy environment for future generations.” - Mayor Schember, Erie, PA
“St. Pete was the first city in Florida to commit to 100% Clean Energy. The city and its constituents have made significant investments locally in solar on residential and commercial properties as well as hours of volunteer time to educate the community. Keeping this momentum is important to meeting our city's goals. The solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is one of the most important federal policy mechanisms to support the growth of solar and other renewable energy sources in the United States. The federal ITC has been a critical innovation policy creating hundreds of thousands of jobs, lowering electricity prices for families and businesses, reducing carbon emissions, and maintaining America’s competitive edge in emerging energy technologies. With the ITC set to begin ramping down in 2020, now is the time to continue this important policy.” - Mayor Kriseman, St. Petersburg, FL
“Promoting solar-friendly initiatives and supporting the tax credit extension means more jobs for our renewable energy technical college graduates and a stronger local economy. We all have a responsibility to secure a future fueled by more renewable energy for a healthier, cleaner planet.” – Mayor Vruwink, Wisconsin Rapids, WI
“The City of Largo's Strategic Plan provides a vision for the City to be the community of choice in Tampa Bay through long-term decision making that guides transformational initiatives and preserves long-term social, environmental and financial health of our community. In support of this, our organization has committed to transitioning to 100 percent renewable energy by 2035, and by 2050 community-wide. The solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is a necessary tool that strengthens the ability of our residents and business owners to make this transition, particularly for the most vulnerable across our community. Therefore, the City of Largo appreciates your consideration in extending the ITC and supporting HR3691 and S2289.” - Mayor Brown, Largo, FL