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As tens of millions of Americans remain jobless following the COVID-19 shock that took the world by storm, some United States lawmakers are calling for a new stimulus package that will include funding for the renewable energy sector.
COVID-19 has inflicted a devastating toll on the United States, leaving over 100,000 dead, 2 million infected, and more than 40 million jobless.
Now, nearly 60 Democrats are calling for a new strategy with the goal of both supporting the people that need it and investing in the future of the country's energy infrastructure. A move that could both create jobs and help America's energy sector in the long run.
“As Congress works to help the American economy recover, we must ensure robust investments are made to spur growth in renewable energy, energy storage, energy efficiency, clean vehicles, clean and efficient infrastructure, clean fuels, and workforce development.," the lawmakers wrote, adding "'These investments should both spur national growth and include funding opportunities for community-level adoption. Smart investments in these areas can help America decarbonize, put people back to work, and help our national, state, and local economies recover.’
Though details are still being hammered out, some of the proposals being drafted include extensions of investment tax credits for solar energy and other renewable energy projects. Additionally, they are pushing for an extension of the production tax credit for wind power, which could translate into a direct tax refund.
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Before the pandemic, renewable energy was one of the United States economy's fastest-growing sectors. In just four years, the industry grew as much as three times faster than the fossil fuel industry. The Bureau of Labor Statistics even predicted that solar panel installers and wind turbine specialists would be two of the fastest-growing professions in the years to come.
Since then, however, renewable energy has seen a devastating downturn, with the number of jobs lost in the industry climbing above 600,000.
By Michael Kern for Oilprice.com
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Michael Kern is a newswriter and editor at Safehaven.com and Oilprice.com,