On April 19, the US House of Representatives' Treasury Committee formally approved the Congressional Review Act, beginning the process to overturn President Biden's decision to suspend solar tariffs.
Last year, a local US company launched a customs investigation that caused serious damage to the US solar and energy storage industry, resulting in several projects being canceled or delayed. In June 2022, President Biden ordered a two-year suspension of tariffs to ensure the United States has an adequate supply of solar panels and can meet electricity needs while domestic production expands.
Last August, President Biden also signed the Inflation Reduction Act, which aims to boost investment and construction in several domestic areas, including new energy. Since the law was passed, the newly announced investment in manufacturing has boosted U.S. solar panel manufacturing capacity to over 47 GW, which is five times the U.S. capacity in 2022.
However, some lawmakers are trying to use the Congressional Review Act to reverse the President's decisions and undermine the positive effects of the Inflation Reduction Act.
If the Congressional Review Act is passed, the SEIA forecasts that 4 GW of proposed solar projects will be canceled, accounting for 14% of installations planned for 2023. Private investment in renewable energy will lose $4.2 billion and 30,000 industry jobs will be wiped out, including 4,000 manufacturing jobs.
Abigail Ross Hopper, President and CEO of SEIA, stated, "Some lawmakers are gambling with the fate of the US solar and energy storage industry by threatening to impose $1 billion in retrospective tariffs. Companies are actively investing in domestic manufacturing , but reinstating ineffective tariffs at this stage will only result in taxing US solar energy companies, hurting the market and dampening demand for US products.These misleading actions will continue to rock the entire clean energy industry for years to come. "
SEIA, the United States Renewable Energy Commission and the United States Clean Energy Association have also issued a joint letter to members of Congress urging them to oppose the use of the Congressional Review Act to trace solar tariffs.
Currently, the Congressional Review Act has been passed by the House of Representatives Committee and has yet to be voted on by the full House and Senate. If the bill passes both houses, President Biden will have the power to veto it. If both houses vote against the president's proposal by a two-thirds majority, either house can again override the president's veto.