Don’t Cripple U.S. Solar Power Industry

Target: Rhonda Schmidtlein, Chairman of the United States International Trade Commission

Goal: Stop discouraging the import of solar panels and cells.

From 2015 to 2016, the number of people employed by the U.S. solar industry grew 25 percent, but this growth is now at risk due to proposed fees on the import of solar equipment. The solar industry now employs over 260,000 Americans — twice as many as the coal industry. The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has proposed tariffs of up to 35 percent on imported solar modules. Drastically raising prices of imported solar panels and cells could potentially cripple the nascent American solar industry.

American businesses, including solar installation companies and big names like eBay, IKEA, and Starbucks have opposed this decision, stating that inexpensive imported solar equipment has been instrumental in expanding the generation of clean solar energy in the U.S. They argue that imposing tariffs would not only cost tens of thousands of jobs in solar installation businesses, it would make switching to solar power more difficult.

Now is not the time to impose restrictions on renewable, low-emission energies. Greenhouse gases from the burning of fossil fuels are quickly building up in the earth’s atmosphere, warming the planet with devastating consequences for all life on earth. If global warming is not stopped, the World Health Organization estimates that climate change will claim 250,000 lives per year by 2030. We must act quickly and drastically expand our use of energy forms (such as solar and wind) that produce only very small amounts of greenhouse gases.

Show your support for renewable energy in the U.S. Sign this petition to urge the ITC to reconsider their recommendations to impose tariffs on imported solar equipment.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Ms. Schmidtlein,

I am writing to urge you to reconsider your recommendation to impose exorbitant tariffs on imported solar equipment. This tariff would significantly reduce the expansion of the U.S. solar industry. Using more solar power and other renewable energies has enormous benefits for the environment. Using solar instead of coal drastically reduces greenhouse gas emissions and improves air quality.

This tariff also has dramatic economic impacts. It has been estimated that high solar tariffs could lead to the loss of up to 88,000 jobs in the solar energy sector. Consumers will likely have to pay more for solar energy as well. Furthermore, according to a report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance, “tariffs on imported solar panels could threaten the economics of residential power systems in as many as 13 U.S. states.”

Committing to renewable energy is key for the environmental and economic future of our country. I ask that you reconsider your decision to impose high tariffs on imported solar equipment.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Jon Callas

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5 Comments

  1. Gen Lovyet Agustsson says:

    solar energy not coal energy. stop destroying the solar industry.

  2. Make the solar panels in America!

  3. Green energy is the future, let’s keeping moving forward or get risk of getting stuck in the past.

  4. Jennifer Day says:

    Are you kidding? We need more!! WTF?

  5. The industry of Solar Power is in is infant stage. Consider when one computer was the size of a huge room, and now that same date can be found on a tiny chip.
    Units harvesting solar power must also shrink so that it becomes affordable, and more practical with increased forms of application.
    We need more simplicity which is surely possible (as long as it does not impede with old money).

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