This Bipartisan Legislation Will Lower Clean Energy Costs, Bolster Domestic Solar Manufacturing, And Create American Jobs

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senators Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and Jerry Moran (R-KS) introduced their bipartisan Protecting American Solar Jobs and Lowering Costs Act, which would repeal the Administration’s Section 201 tariffs on solar panels and create a Department of Energy program to enhance domestic production and manufacturing of solar panels and other solar energy components. The solar tariffs, which were first imposed by the Trump Administration in 2018 and recently extended by the Biden Administration, have led to an increase in prices for solar panels and cost tens of thousands of American clean energy jobs.

“Solar tariffs are hurting America’s clean energy economy by raising prices for American families and costing us jobs in this key industry, while failing to incentivize domestic manufacturing,” said Senator Rosen. “The current policy has not worked, and the United States now has some of the highest prices for solar panels in the world. That’s why I’m introducing bipartisan legislation to repeal these tariffs and boost domestic solar panel manufacturing, which will strengthen our supply chain, lower clean energy costs, and create more good-paying jobs for Nevadans.”

“The circumstance of continued tariffs will further impede solar deployment growth in Kansas, depriving the state of future investment and jobs,” said Senator Moran. “We should be working to bolster domestic solar manufacturing capabilities in ways that don’t stifle American solar deployment, raise energy prices for consumers or lessen job opportunities for American workers.”

According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, the U.S. solar industry has lost almost 13,000 jobs since the tariffs were imposed in 2018, in addition to almost 20,000 projected new solar jobs that were never realized. Nearly 90% of workers in the domestic solar industry work in non-manufacturing jobs – from installation and maintenance to operations, distribution, and development – and rely on the availability of affordable solar panels. Nevada has the largest solar economy and the most solar jobs per capita in the country. Despite the intention of the last Administration’s solar tariffs, which were recently extended, current domestic production of solar panels still only meets 15% of the U.S. solar demand, hurting solar workers and leading to high costs for consumers. 

Senator Rosen has been a leader in the pushback against solar tariffs. Last month, she led a bipartisan group of senators in sending a letter urging President Biden not to extend the Section 201 tariffs on imported solar panels and cells, which were set to expire on February 6, 2022. Her efforts helped convince the Administration to exclude bifacial panels from the tariffs, a win for Nevada solar jobs.

In December 2020, Senator Rosen joined a letter to the Biden-Harris transition team urging a repeal of the prior Administration’s solar tariffs.

Last year, Senator Rosen also led a group of a dozen Senators in successfully pushing the U.S. Department of Commerce to reject a series of anonymously filed petitions to expand the job-killing tariffs to solar panels and cells imported from Malaysia, Vietnam, and Thailand.

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