Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018|2 a.m.
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There’s no concern that Nevada has extremely taken advantage of the increase of solar power innovation. Solar energy is clean, eco-friendly and easy to harvest– and Nevada is blessed to have no shortage of sunlight. The solar industry has actually grown over the last few years, now using 8,371 people statewide (7,031 of whom reside in Clark County)– the 4th most in the nation and the second most per capita. Nearly 95 percent of solar tasks in Nevada are in the setup, sales, circulation and project development sectors, all of which greatly depend upon the availability of economical photovoltaic panels. Veterans hold approximately 12 percent of Nevada solar tasks.
Throughout his State of the Union address, President Donald Trump declared completion of the so-called war on “beautiful, clean coal.” But what concerns me are the new attacks on renewable energy that have actually emerged over the past year under this Republican-controlled Congress and White Home.
Last month, the Trump administration slapped a damaging 30 percent tariff on imported photovoltaic panels, a negligent move that threatens a $28 billion market that depends on parts made abroad. Nevada’s solar industry is bracing for job losses.
This isn’t the first time Trump has actually undermined tidy energy to safeguard the revenues of his allies in the fossil fuel market. The administration is proposing deep budget plan cuts to the Energy Department’s renewable energy and energy-efficiency programs. Trump wishes to slash this clean energy research funding by more than 65 percent, from the present $2 billion to $696 million.
Instead of reinforcing a growing industry where we could be a global leader, Trump seems to be trying to broadly undermine clean energy to preserve out-of-date fossil fuels. This agenda comes at the expense of the American individuals’s health and the strength of our economy.
If the White Home continues down this course, we run the risk of losing good-paying Nevada jobs and slowing our state’s transition to clean energy. For years, we have combated to diversify Nevada’s industries to construct a more sustainable and durable economy. Solar is helping us with that fight in Nevada.
In Congress, I have safeguarded solar energy to secure the economic and ecological future of Nevada, and I will continue to do so. I am co-sponsoring two expenses that will reinforce solar energy: the Community College Energy Training Act and the Green Bank Act.
The Neighborhood College Energy Training Act would establish a program for labor force training and education in sustainable energy at community colleges. The Green Bank Act would create a National Green Bank that provides funding support to local, state and municipal green banks to money tidy energy and energy effective jobs.
Efforts to establish green banks have actually gotten assistance from leaders in both parties. In 2015, Gov. Brian Sandoval signed legislation developing the first-ever Nevada Clean Energy Fund. The single biggest barrier for green bank growth is an absence of access to capital, making a national green bank essential to support local and state green banks, like Nevada’s.
I’ve seen firsthand the remarkable savings that solar power can produce. As the former president of Parish Ner Tamid in Henderson, I assisted lead a group to construct of among the largest solar setups by a nonprofit in Southern Nevada through a public-private collaboration. With our solar project, we slashed energy costs by as much as 70 percent a year
Solar innovation is going to drive Nevada’s tidy energy future, and this administration has to get out of the way or work with us to support this market. We need policies in Washington that help Nevada accelerate our transition to solar, not slow us down.
Jacky Rosen represents Nevada’s 3rd Congressional District in the House of Representatives.