Solar industry leader: Solar a bipartisan issue

cxWASHINGTON – With political change set to sweep Capitol Hill early next year, Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) says that solar is, has been, and must continue to be a bipartisan issue in the U.S.

In a statement released on the eve of this past Tuesday’s elections, which saw Republicans sweep to power in the House of Representatives but saw Democrats hold the Senate, Resch said:

“No matter who wins Tuesday’s mid-term elections, we stand ready to work with them to continue advancing solar energy in the United States. Today, 94 percent of American voters support expanded use of solar energy – Republicans, Democrats, and Independents alike.

“Solar is an industry that enjoys bipartisan support in both houses of Congress. It is worth noting that the solar investment tax credit, the most significant federal policy support ever for solar, was passed by a Republican Congress and signed into law by a Republican president in 2005. The eight-year extension of the tax credit in 2008 was supported by dozens of Republicans in Congress and signed into law by President Bush.

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“Because of these policies, championed by both Democrats and Republicans, solar today is an industry working for America that doubled employment in the last year and now employs 93,000 Americans across all 50 states. Solar has become a growth engine for America at a time when voter anxiety about the economy is at an all-time high. It is important that leaders in Congress, from the most seasoned political veterans to the incoming freshmen class, recognize the solar industry’s capacity to drive job creation and economic growth when addressing America’s deep economic challenges in the coming months and years.

“SEIA looks forward to working with the new Congress and leaders from both parties, just as we have for the past 36 years. We also hope that the 111th Congress closes on a positive, bipartisan note during the lame duck session by passing policies that have helped drive solar’s dynamic growth this year.”

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