Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) joined Senators Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), and a bipartisan group of 18 colleagues in a letter urging President Joe Biden to expedite and bring to a swift conclusion the administration’s investigation into solar panels and cells imported from Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia and requesting a meeting to discuss this issue. This investigation could expand harmful, job-killing tariffs on solar imports, raising costs on consumers, and has already caused widespread cancellations and delays in the U.S. solar industry. The solar industry employs over 230,000 American workers, including more than 6,000 Nevadans. According to a new report issued by the Solar Energy Industries Association, 70 percent of U.S. companies say at least half of their solar workforce is at risk as a result of this investigation.
“Initiation of this investigation is already causing massive disruption in the solar industry, and it will severely harm American solar businesses and workers and increase costs for American families as long as it continues,” wrote the Senators. “We strongly urge your administration to swiftly review the case and make an expedited preliminary determination. Such a determination should carefully consider the significant policy ramifications and reject the petitioner’s request for retroactivity.”
“Already, as a result of Commerce’s decision to initiate this investigation, industry surveys indicate that 83% of U.S. solar companies report being notified of canceled or delayed panel supply. Without a reliable and cost-effective source of panels, existing and proposed solar projects could come to a halt,” the Senators’ letter continued. “Left unaddressed, cutting off this supply of panels and cells also could cause the loss of more than 100,000 American jobs, including approximately 18,000 manufacturing jobs.”
The full text of the letter can be found here.
Senator Cortez Masto has been a strong advocate for Nevada’s clean energy economy and has pushed against harmful solar tariffs. Earlier this year, she joined a bipartisan group of senators in urging Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo to carefully assess the validity of a filed petition to expand these solar tariffs. The senator has also spoken against harmful solar panel tariffs, and she has worked to protect Nevada’s clean energy jobs and our state’s place as a leader in solar energy.
As a longtime proponent of renewable and sustainable energy, Senator Cortez Masto secured an extension of the Investment Tax Credit and the residential renewable energy tax credit for solar in the 2020 omnibus funding bill. Senator Cortez Masto was able to successfully advocate for two additional years of renewable energy tax credits for the solar industry and its workers.