Senate Signals a New Dawn For Solar
The U.S. Senate today passed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, an historic investment in our economy that will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, create high quality jobs, and lower monthly energy costs for working families across the nation. Vote Solar applauds the Senate and the many Americans who advocated passionately and persistently for meaningful climate action at the federal level.
Once enacted and implemented, this bill will make clean energy more affordable, accessible and equitable. Vote Solar was proud to work on key provisions that will:
- Directly support lower-income or environmental justice communities, including a $7 billion EPA grant program to enable deployment of zero-emission technologies like residential solar.
- Extend and expand the federal clean energy tax credits, which are foundational policies for solar deployment in the US.
- Make solar interconnection costs eligible for federal tax credits for the first time, a change that could help overcome a major barrier to community solar deployment.
At the same time, this bill has been compromised as it has taken its path to passage. As is too often the case, Black, Indigenous and other communities of color will pay the price for giveaways to fossil energy companies. The bill requires opportunities for oil and gas extraction and infrastructure, which has an outsized negative impact on the most historically marginalized communities. The Senate may have acquiesced to these dangerous demands this time, but we can and must do better in the future.
Too much time has already been wasted in the fight against climate change, and this bill must now be signed into law and implemented quickly. Climate change is already having devastating impacts on communities across the country and world, and the United States has a moral imperative to lead the way into a brighter future.
Vote Solar looks forward to working closely with the White House, Department of Energy and other agencies as well as the states and municipalities that will ultimately use this money to make unprecedented investments in communities that need the clean air, good jobs and reliable power the most. We’re also excited about the boost this provides in our work as we continue our winning strategy of state-level advocacy, where we know we can have the biggest impact. The passage of the Inflation Reduction Act is just the starting line of a marathon, and now we must run the race to a safer climate and more just economy.