The clean energy push

Source: BY KELSEY TAMBORRINO, Politico • Posted: Monday, June 8, 2020

The clean energy industry is increasingly leaning on Democratic allies in Congress to deliver assistance after previous proposals to help the struggling sector have fallen through, Pro’s Anthony Adragna reports this morning.

And now rank-and-file Democrats who had been urging leadership behind closed doors to act are making their calls in public. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), a senior member of the Ways and Means Committee, is circulating a letter , obtained by POLITICO, calling on House Democratic leaders to allow renewable energy tax credits to be received as a direct payment, a key change sought by the industry since the tax credits have little value as companies rack up losses during the economic downturn. Democratic Reps. Nanette Barragán (Calif.), Jared Huffman(Calif.), Alcee Hastings (Fla.), Chellie Pingree(Maine) and Brenda Lawrence (Mich.) are circulating “a green stimulus framework letter” with an eye toward releasing it in late June, according to Barragan’s office.

But Republicans remain skeptical of any push to aid the sector. Senate Environment and Public Works Chair John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) denounced an infrastructure framework put out by House Democrats, seen as a possible vehicle for the aid, as “a laundry list of liberal priorities” and “a second ‘Green New Deal'” in an op-ed.

Rep. Garret Graves (R-La.), top Republican on the Climate Crisis Committee, said efforts to aid the clean energy sector were an “incredibly tone deaf move or priority right now.” Graves dismissed his party’s invocation of the Green New Deal as “messaging crap” but said the pursuit of clean energy is “from a policy perspective, I just think that it’s the wrong move.”