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Pingree to House Leadership: Prioritize Clean Energy Workforce & Mitigate Climate Crisis in Next Recovery Package

Washington, June 22, 2020

Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) and leaders of the House Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition (SEEC) sent a 17-page letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, and Committee Chairs urging relief for the more than half-a-million workers in the clean energy sector who have been neglected in past COVID-19 response packages. The letter outlines specific pathways for Congress to sustain 3.4 million clean jobs ranging from construction and manufacturing to transportation and finance amid the national economic downturn and pandemic.

“Relief and recovery legislation will shape our society for years to come. We must use these bills to build in a climate-smart way with the future in mind,” wrote the members. “While the Trump Administration has ensured federal taxpayer support for other energy sectors, such as oil and gas, the administration abruptly applied retroactive rent fees for solar and wind projects on federal lands, suddenly increasing costs for a sector already hammered by the COVID-19 economic crisis…Broad programs such as the Paycheck Protection Program have not been able to address the COVID-specific challenges facing clean energy companies—it’s hard to keep workers on payroll even with federal support when the projects employees would return to are collapsing.”

The letter outlining pathways for clean energy recovery was led by SEEC Vice-Chair Pingree along with Co-Chairs Reps. Paul Tonko, Doris Matsui, and Gerry Connolly, and fellow SEEC Vice-Chairs Reps. A. Donald McEachin, Mike Quigley, Rep. Alan Lowenthal, and Matt Cartwright. 

The full text of the letter can be found below, and a signed copy can be found here.          

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