$1.5 Trillion Moving Forward Act Includes Climate Change Benefits

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The House Democrats have recently introduced the progressive Moving Forward Act. If signed into law, the $1.5 trillion bill will offer pro-solar and pro-storage benefits while focusing on building new infrastructure in the transportation division. Over the next five years, the bill aims to reimagine the transportation industry by making stand-alone energy store investment tax credit (ITC) eligible and extending a 30% ITC through 2025. By voting this Act into place, the bill could help meet the demands of alleviating climate change while providing jobs to many Americans across the country. 

Abigail Ross Hopper, the president and CEO of the Solar Industries Association (SEIA) states, “We know that with the right policies in place, including many of those proposed in the Moving Forward Act, clean energy can add hundreds of billions of dollars in investment and perhaps a million or more jobs back into the economy,”.

ITC eligibility in the solar storage workspace could help counteract the ongoing pandemic-related impacts felt throughout the industry. Widespread project delays, reduced revenues, and record job losses have ravaged the solar sector since the start of COVID-19 and this bill hopes to address that.   

More than $70 billion would go towards transforming the electric grid. This includes making it more accommodating to renewable energy by expanding deployment, building new infrastructure, and establishing an electric vehicle (EV) charging network. From a financial standpoint, the Moving Forward Act also hopes to grant renewable energy access to low-income households and underserviced solar areas. Another grant program within the Act looks to provide public schools with solar improvements to help reduce energy costs.  

While the fate of this bill is uncertain, the House of Representatives is planning to vote on the Moving Forward Act before the end of the month.

Many Americans support policies that aim to promote a clean and green energy future. With the Moving Forward Act in place, we’re one step closer to achieving just that. At Intersect Energy, we support the Houses’ attitude regarding the solar parts of the infrastructure proposal and would like to see bi-partisan support for it. While it would have been a great policy to implement before the start of the pandemic, we recognize the need and importance of it now to create jobs and provide clean, affordable energy. For all the latest solar energy happenings, be sure to follow us on LinkedIn.

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How Renewables Could Help Solve Climate Change

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The global pandemic, COVID-19, has sent the federal government into a sort of frenzy. The crisis has forced the government to step up in this time of need and provide incentives to help sustain the U.S. economy. While this is necessary to avoid a depression, it comes at a price—the federal debt amount is spiking and it will need to be repaid somehow. Combining this pressure with the growing problem of climate change will result in a challenge that we have yet to surmise. We believe that renewable energy will be one of the most effective tools we have in the fight against climate change. 


In years past, the federal government’s climate-related disaster recovery spending was already reaching astronomical numbers. In 2017 alone, Congress allotted $136 billion in additional funding for disaster recovery, costing taxpayers about $1,000. This money goes to repairing federally owned properties, insurance, making structures stable, and disaster aid. 


Climate Disaster Spending

Last year, 14 billion-dollar disasters occurred, the fifth year in a row with more than 10. Research suggests that the future projections aren’t looking too promising, either. Reports from The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimated that the average annual number of catastrophes causing over a billion-dollars’ worth of damages over the past five years has doubled the average over the past four decades. The administration warned that this is directly correlated to climate change. 


In 2018, the federal government’s national climate assessment predicted continued warming stating, “it is expected to cause substantial net damage to the U.S. economy throughout this century, especially in the absence of increased adaptation efforts.” BlackRock, a global investment firm goes on to suggest that if we continue to use fossil fuels, by the year 2050 we will see a 275% increase in major hurricane risk. PG&E, California’s utility company was forced to file for bankruptcy last year when devastating wildfires ripped across the state causing over $30 billion in damages. 


While the federal government will have to cover these losses, state and local governments will struggle because they cannot borrow money as the federal government can. States overwhelmed with disaster costs will be forced to turn to the federal government for assistance. Additionally, banks are moving risky mortgages onto government-backed lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. With the climate worsening, defaults will rise as the federal government will be personally liable. The Federal Management Agency’s National Flood Insurance Program is over $20 billion in debt. Debt projections continue to increase, and the federal deficit is expected to reach $4 trillion in 2020. 

What can be done to reduce our world from the exposure to climate-related disasters? Experts suggest cutting greenhouse gas emissions and increasing spending to bolster infrastructure when faced with extreme climate catastrophes. Greenhouse gas emissions have been dramatically increasing over the years but we’re seeing a positive uptick in wind and solar energy. Advancements to solar equipment and huge cost improvements are making renewables increasingly more competitive with fossil fuels. 


Carbon Tax for Change

We recognize we have a choice between a carbon tax or a climate disaster tax. A carbon tax can directly reduce and eliminate the use of fossil fuels that are rapidly destroying our climate as well as provide revenue, job opportunities, and encourage organizations to reduce their carbon footprint. While this may not affect climate change directly for some time, it’s a positive step to take to reduce emissions worldwide and better prepare the United States for other crises that arise, like the current COVID-19 pandemic. 

At Intersect Energy, we are a developer of renewable energy. We recognize New Jersey’s Master Energy plan for reducing the state’s carbon footprint and fully support this initiative to address climate change. We’re here to provide you with the most up-to-date information and current energy news in our area. For all the latest solar happenings, be sure to follow us on LinkedIn.



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