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solar panel install

SolarCraft workers install solar panels on the roof of a home on February 26, 2015 in San Rafael, California. (Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

'Reckless': Trump Deals Blow to Renewable Transition With Solar Panel Tariff

"Tens of thousands of jobs in the solar sector could be stamped out, and it could hurt momentum at a time when we need to massively ramp up clean energy to reduce carbon emissions."

Jessica Corbett

Dealing a serious blow to the U.S. solar industry and despite protests from experts and a national trade group, President Donald Trump has approved a 30 percent tariff on imported solar panel materials.

"With Americans in Puerto Rico and Houston still struggling to recover from climate disasters, Trump should be supporting renewable energy rather than making it more costly."
—Howard Crystal, CBD
Responding to recommendations from the U.S. International Trade Commission, which was lobbied by two foreign-owned U.S.-based companies that argued they couldn't compete with cheap materials from Asia, Trump on Monday authorized (pdf) a 30 percent tariff on solar cells and modules that will drop by 5 percent annually over the next four years.

U.S. solar companies, environmentalists, and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) decried the "reckless decision" that they warned, in the government's effort to "keep foreign-owned Suniva and SolarWorld afloat," will not only further endanger the planet but also "create a crisis in a part of our economy that has been thriving, which will ultimately cost tens of thousands of hard-working, blue-collar Americans their jobs."

"President Trump says his intention is to save jobs, but the specifics show this decision is a job killer," said John Rogers, senior energy analyst at the Union of Concerned Scientists. "Tens of thousands of jobs in the solar sector could be stamped out, and it could hurt momentum at a time when we need to massively ramp up clean energy to reduce carbon emissions."

"If Trump really wants to put America first, he should reduce our reliance on polluting energy sources that fuel climate change," declared Howard Crystal, a senior attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD). "With Americans in Puerto Rico and Houston still struggling to recover from climate disasters, Trump should be supporting renewable energy rather than making it more costly."


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'No Time to Waste': New Nationwide March Four Our Lives Protests Set for June 11

"Together, we rose up four years ago. One million of us demanded change. We built a movement. We voted for new leaders. And the gun deaths increased. Now is the moment we march again."

Brett Wilkins ·


'We Need Fewer Guns in Schools, Not More': Teachers Reject GOP Call for Armed Educators

"Teachers should be teaching, not acting as armed security guards," the president of a leading teachers' union asserted in the wake of the Robb Elementary School massacre in Texas.

Brett Wilkins ·


Faith Leaders, Teachers Mobilize for Protests at NRA's Houston Meeting in Wake of Uvalde Massacre

"Don't look away," said one advocacy group. "Rally against the NRA."

Julia Conley ·


NY Appeals Court Rules Trump and Two of His Kids Must Testify in Financial Fraud Case

"Our investigation will continue undeterred because no one is above the law," said New York Attorney General Letitia James.

Kenny Stancil ·


After Racist Massacre in Buffalo, Senate GOP Blocks Domestic Terrorism Bill

"There are a lot of MAGA Republicans for whom no amount of gun violence... will ever, ever convince them to take any action," said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Jake Johnson ·

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