Originally published on SolarWakeUp.
By Frank Andorka
What Happened: GOP Senators from solar states like North Carolina have suddenly discovered that President Trump’s tariffs on solar modules are a bad idea. (Who knew? Everyone. Everyone knew.)
¤ Bloomberg reports, “The group of eight senators led by North Carolina’s Thom Tillis urged the administration to waive duties on 72-cell, 1,500-volt panels that are ideal for large ground-mounted “utility-scale” projects.”
¤ If they really want to fix this, they should introduce companion legislation to that currently in the House that would remove the tariffs entirely and retroactively pay for the ones already paid.
SolarWakeup’s View: It’s amazing how quickly Republicans get on board with solar when jobs in their own states are threatened.
Bloomberg reports that “Republican senators from five states with big solar farms are asking the Trump administration to exempt the workhorse of industrial solar panels from tariffs imposed earlier this year.”
Well, isn’t that just swell?
Of course, exempting utility-scale solar modules from the tariffs doesn’t really solve the overall problem, which is that the duties have cost 9,800 downstream installation and other non-manufacturing jobs, as well as having thrown the industry into chaos for the past year and a half.
And it bears repeating that the tariffs were imposed on the whims of two companies that, in short order, will no longer exist.
If these GOP Senators really want to fix the tariff problem, they could follow the lead of their colleagues in the House and introduce a bill that would eliminate the tariffs entirely, thus protecting their utility-scale projects while also saving jobs in the rest of the industry, too.
But that solution would make far too much sense, so I wouldn’t hold my breath for such common sense to reign.
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