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Nov 18, 2015
Press Release
Tax credit encourages private investment in solar industry

Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) spoke on the House Floor today about the importance of extending the Solar Investment Tax Credit. If Congress does not act to extend it, the credit will expire in 2016.

Since its passage in 2005 as part of the Energy Policy Act, the Solar Investment Tax Credit has been extended twice, for one year through the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006 and for eight years through the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act in 2008.

The Solar Investment Tax Credit encourages private investment in solar manufacturing and solar project construction. The largest solar panel manufacturing plant in the Western Hemisphere, the SolarCity GigaFactory, is currently under construction on the former RiverBend brownfield site in Buffalo.

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Text of Congressman Higgins’ remarks below:

Mr. Speaker: Since Congress passed the Solar Investment Tax Credit in 2005, solar installations have grown by 1,600%. Americans have invested $72 billion in solar. And 8,000 businesses in all 50 states have created 160,000 jobs in the solar industry.

Much of this economic success story is due to the Investment Tax Credit, which is scheduled to expire at the end of next year.  If the Investment Tax Credit expires the solar industry could see a 71% decline, needlessly costing the American economy 100,000 jobs.

This uncertainty is already affecting the market. Consumers need confidence in the tax policy before they decide whether to make an investment into the solar industry.

I ask my colleagues to join me in urging the Ways and Means Committee to expeditiously prioritize a long term extension of this critical, job-creating tax incentive.

Congressman Higgins is a strong advocate for initiatives supporting the expansion and use of solar power. In October, he joined Rep. Richard Hanna (NY-22) to introduce legislation aimed at demonstrating the benefits of net metering. In April he spoke again on the House Floor in favor of the Solar Ready Vets Program to provide veterans with job training and opportunities in the solar industry.