Assemblymember Jordan Cunningham (R-San Luis Obispo) is one of more than 50 state legislators to sign a letter urging federal lawmakers to support California’s clean energy industry
and its workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel (D-Encino) led the effort to craft this letter, which is addressed to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who are both representatives from California.
The letter states that, like most sectors, the clean energy industry has been significantly affected by the ongoing public health crisis. It’s led to employees being unable to work, companies struggling with financial challenges, and projects being canceled or postponed.
According to the letter, in March alone, more than 100,000 clean energy jobs throughout the country were lost, nearly 20 percent of which were based in California.
“In order to ensure continued progress toward California’s climate change and energy resiliency goals, we must ensure that clean energy workers and businesses have the tools to emerge from this crisis and restore those jobs as quickly as possible,” the letter states.
In addition to the economic implications, the letter states that saving the industry is important as investment in clean energy can help customers save money on their bills. The letter also notes that a slowdown in the industry could affect the state’s goal of relying completely on clean energy by 2045.
In their letter, state legislators ask Pelosi and McCarthy to take a few direct actions to try and keep the clean energy industry afloat. This includes extending federal tax credits for clean energy technologies, as well as residential and commercial tax credits that promote energy efficiency.
“California is leading the nation in green technology development and jobs, showing that smart environmental policy can be smart economic policy,” Cunningham said in the news release. “However, for us to solidify the gains we have made and continue to grow, Congress must extend the investment tax credit so Californians can do what we do best: innovate, innovate, innovate.” ∆