Sen. Joe Manchin kills another chance for expanded solar incentives

On July 14, Senator Joe Manchin “unequivocally” rejected the idea of ​​July or August passage of the Democrats’ proposed energy investments and tax increases in budget reconciliation legislation, according to Politico. Manchin only agreed to a deal that includes health care measures, but not climate issues, citing inflation concerns from any additional spending.

Solar and environmental groups expressed their disappointment.

“The news that significant climate policy will not be part of a budget reconciliation bill is crushing to so many people, particularly in light of the devastating effects of climate change and inflation now adversely affecting every American,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO or SEIA, in a statement. “As of today, we hold out hope, however slim, that members of Congress will see the urgency of this moment and do what needs to be done to pass meaningful climate and clean energy legislation this year.

“While we are deeply disappointed, we ask that members of Congress stay at the table for as long as it takes, by whatever political machinations necessary, to get clean energy policy over the finish line. The stakes for all American communities are just too high for us to give up this fight and we will aggressively pursue solutions, wherever they may be and for as long as it takes,” she continued.

Residential Renewables for All (RRFA) is a nonprofit group that has focused on getting solar tax incentive refundability passed into law. The group expressed its anger about Manchin’s decision.

“Last night’s report that climate provisions and tax incentives for residential renewable energy will be stripped from the reconciliation bill is a major defeat for millions of American households who want to reduce skyrocketing utility bills, build healthier communities and protect our climate. The passage of 25D refundability would have allowed all families, regardless of their income level, to make the switch to an affordable and green energy solution. This commonsense provision would have helped combat inflation, helped working families make ends meet, and helped respond to the climate crisis. Failure to pass it is as reckless as it is disappointing,” said RRFA in a statement.

“Our fight to ensure that all communities can play a role in our nation’s clean energy revolution does not end here. The President, through executive action, can and must do more, and we will continue to press Congress, state legislatures, and the business community to work to rapidly decarbonize our economy — for the sake of families and the planet.”

Vote Solar condemned the decision but vowed to keep fighting for solar policy.

“Americans overwhelmingly want climate action and support major investments in the clean energy economy — and that is true in West Virginia as well,” said Vote Solar chief program officer Sean Garren. “Sen. Manchin has turned his back on the will of the people, but history has shown us that with time and dedicated work, the people always win. For now, we will continue to build power for climate and energy justice as we deliver concrete progress in states all across the country. The health, wealth and safety of current and future generations demand it.”

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