As solar companies [operating within [STATE/DISTRICT] we are writing to express opposition to H.J. Res 39. [1-3 SENTENCES ABOUT STATE/DISTRICT] H.J. Res 39 would have significant detrimental effects for the solar workforce, climate, business certainty, and domestic energy deployment.
H.J. Res 39 would undo actions taken by the Department of Commerce, potentially causing solar companies like ours to be liable for tariffs on imports dating back to April 2022. During this time, solar companies were following the guidelines released by the Department of Commerce. Penalizing companies for following these instructions undermines the stable and predictable business environment needed for our industry to continue to grow.
In February 2022, one U.S. based solar company filed anti-circumvention petitions with the Department of Commerce that caused havoc in the U.S. solar industry. The investigation meant that importers could face retroactive duties ranging from 50% -250% on solar panels and cells from Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia. This posed too great of a risk, and abruptly froze the industry’s supply chains. Nearly 75% of domestic solar projects experienced cancellations or delays as a result.
To address this disruption, the Department of Commerce provided a two-year moratorium on potential duties arising from the investigation, to create the business certainty required to restart the domestic solar construction that had ground to a halt. The two-year moratorium unfroze the solar marketplace and provided a bridge for domestic solar manufacturing to scale up and meet domestic demand for solar panels.
The United States has the potential to become a leader in solar manufacturing. Currently, however, the U.S. lacks the manufacturing capacity to meet rising demand. In 2021, the U.S. could manufacture up to 7GW of solar panels per year – enough to meet only 1/3 of the total domestic demand. However, numerous recent announcements have been made for new domestic solar manufacturing facilities. This incredible emerging success story is thanks to the forward-looking advanced manufacturing provisions passed in the IRA. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), a government agency, has tracked announcements indicating a major domestic buildout-- 42GW of public announcements for forthcoming domestic panel manufacturing.
Building manufacturing facilities necessary to fully supply the solar industry will take time. The 2-year duty moratorium, of which there is only 14 months left, allows planned solar installations to move forward while helping sustain the robust environmental, economic and job-creating benefits offered by the U.S. solar industry. Americans will benefit from continued investments in the nation’s solar energy economy, contributing to providing jobs and reliable economic growth for our country.
H. J. Res. 39 would nullify the Commerce rulemaking upon which domestic solar stakeholders have relied to make significant business and economic decisions. Reversing this rule would subject solar companies to over $1 billion in retroactive duties, severely damaging the U.S. solar industry. H. J. Res. 39 would also result in the cancellation of 4GW of planned solar projects, representing roughly 14% of the industry’s anticipated deployment this year alone – and a key component of the marketplace for burgeoning domestic manufacturing.
Given the potential economic, jobs, climate, and domestic energy production impacts, we strongly urge you to oppose H. J. Res. 39. We appreciate your support and look forward to hearing from you.
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