Reno, Nev. – At a U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Hearing yesterday, U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) reiterated her support for Nevada’s solar industry and urged Energy Secretary Granholm to oppose any efforts to re-impose tariffs on solar panels from partner countries that are critical for American solar jobs. Last June, Senator Cortez Masto pushed the Biden administration to announce a two-year suspension of solar tariffs that could have killed American jobs and increased solar costs.
Senator Cortez Masto touted the strength of Nevada’s solar economy, but highlighted that the U.S. currently only has the domestic capacity to manufacture about one-third of the total domestic demand for solar panels. “When the threat of traiffs was in place, nearly 75% of domestic solar projects experienced cancellations or delays, including in my state, which has the number one solar economy,” said Senator Cortez Masto.
In response, Secretary Granholm reiterated the importance of a transition period to build up domestic solar capacity and called the incentives in the Inflation Reduction Act, as well as the pause on tariffs on solar panels for southeast Asian countries, a critical one-two step to ramp up our ability to deploy solar across the U.S.
Senator Cortez Masto agreed, stating that companies across Nevada consistently recognize the Inflation Reduction Act as the most beneficial piece of recent legislation for the clean energy economy – as long as Congress and the Administration continue to provide these companies with an appropriate on-ramp to build up capacity. “And at the end of the day, we are on the right side of history with these projects moving forward,” she concluded.
Senator Cortez Masto has been a leader in supporting the solar industry and the clean energy jobs it creates. She spoke out against the imposition of solar tariffs under prior administrations, and pushed the Biden administration to suspend solar tariffs that could have killed American jobs and increased solar project costs. In 2020, she secured vital extensions of the Investment Tax Credit and the residential renewable energy tax credit for solar. Senator Cortez Masto was able to successfully advocate for two additional years of renewable energy tax credits for the solar industry and its workers. She built upon that work last year, when she secured billions in investments to increase solar and geothermal energy production through expanded tax credits in the Inflation Reduction Act. She’s also introduced legislation to expand the solar manufacturing supply chain in the U.S.