A coalition of advocates representing civil rights, indigenous, environment, equity, rural and business organizations is calling on Congress to prioritize the equitable and just deployment of renewable energy through policies that support expanding local rooftop and community solar power for all. In a letter to Congressional leaders, the coalition recommends a comprehensive set of federal policy actions, including the deployment and expansion of community and rooftop solar programs, that will build a more equitable, resilient and clean electricity system and economy that works for all Americans.
According to the letter, “For too long, the benefits of a clean energy economy have eluded communities of color, indigenous communities, low-income, rural and frontline communities disproportionately impacted by climate and environmental change. Achieving real clean energy equity requires that we address historic policy inequities, prioritize critical investments in the hardest-hit areas and create opportunities for economic growth that foster justice.”
The coalition attached to the letter a policy roadmap that details a comprehensive set of federal policy actions that would bridge the equity gap in clean energy access and modernize the electric grid. In alignment with the American Jobs Plan and the Biden-Harris Administration’s climate and equity goals, the policy recommendations ensure that at least 40% of the benefits of local solar projects reach underserved communities including communities of color, low-income households, indigenous communities and those communities disproportionately impacted by climate and environmental degradation. The roadmap includes three pillars of policy recommendations:
- Empower 30 million households to go solar, including 15 million with low to moderate incomes
- Create an energy economy and workforce that includes everyone — especially those in underserved communities — spurring hundreds of billions of dollars in private investment in public infrastructure and creating over one million new jobs, while supporting business ownership, entrepreneurship and economic opportunity for communities of color and underserved communities;
- Build a more resilient grid that is ready to meet our economic, workforce and climate goals including achieving 100% clean renewable energy by 2035.
The letter was sent to Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Schumer, Minority Leader McCarthy and Minority Leader McConnell. The coalition will immediately begin working with members of Congress and the Administration to ensure the various policies within the roadmap are implemented as soon as possible.