IBEW, SEIA Call on Congress to Return to Bargaining Table to Pass Climate Legislation
Tuesday, Jul 26 2022
To: All Members of the United States Congress
Re: IBEW, SEIA Call on Congress to Return to Bargaining Table to Pass Climate Legislation
Dear Member of Congress:
On behalf of the more than 775,000 active and retired members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and the members of the Solar Energies Industries Association (SEIA), the national trade association for the U.S. solar industry, we urge members of Congress to get back to the negotiating table and pass pro-worker, pro-growth, anti-inflationary climate legislation. We believe that there is broad support for the legislation, which will be a boon to the U.S. economy and deliver critical climate relief.
The clean energy transformation that our nation needs to address climate change requires a comprehensive approach, including well-trained, highly-skilled union workers as well as hundreds of billions of dollars in private sector investment in American manufacturing, workforce development and deployment of solar power and storage. The legislation now being debated in Congress will also reduce the deficit and ease inflation.
Our organizations represent the people whose work helps reverse climate change and provides investment in the workforce and infrastructure necessary to make a robust, equitable clean energy economy a reality.
IBEW and SEIA support proposals under consideration, including:
- Clean energy and EV charging tax incentives with prevailing wage and apprenticeship requirements for construction, alteration, or repair work greater than 1 megawatt, including for both contractors and subcontractors
- Domestic content requirements on clean energy and EV charging tax incentives
- The Solar Energy Manufacturing for America Act
- A new tax credit for standalone energy storage
- Support for interstate transmission lines and zero-emission buildings
- Greater investment for clean energy in low-income communities that will create well-paying union jobs and address equity and environmental justice concerns
Falling costs have contributed to the growth of solar and battery storage. At least 160 gigawatts of solar are being developed with co-located batteries, according to a study by Lawrence Berkeley National Labs, amounting to almost 34 percent of solar currently in the queue. Across the United States, nearly 40 percent of planned solar projects have co-located battery storage.
Deploying solar and storage will reduce inflation for all American energy consumers, according to reports by Bloomberg New Energy Finance and Rhodium Group, among others.
This legislation pairs labor standards with an aggressive path forward on solar development. With it, we can create the jobs needed to build a strong economy, prosperity for all Americans and a major tool to fight inflation. Without it, we face a troubling climate future and a lost opportunity to regain global climate leadership. Members of Congress, we implore you to get an American energy deal done.
Lonnie R. Stephenson, IBEW President
Abigail Ross Hopper, SEIA President and CEO