Energy & Environment

Bipartisan governors urge Biden officials to wrap up solar investigation

A bipartisan coalition of 19 governors is calling on the Biden administration to quickly wrap up an investigation into solar panel component manufacturers, echoing the concerns of the solar panel industry about the impact of the probe.

The governors wrote in a letter sent Monday that the probe — which comes in response to a petition from San Jose, Calif.-based company Auxin Solar — potentially threatens thousands of jobs as well as the administration’s own renewable energy deployment goals.

“The current market disruption jeopardizes much of the progress achieved by the domestic solar industry and we fear this will only continue for the duration of the investigation,” the governors wrote. “Almost immediately, solar prices have jumped because of dramatic drops in solar product imports, threatening the livelihoods of more than 230,000 American workers who rely on solar jobs and raising energy costs on families.”

Governors who signed the letter included Arkansas’s Asa Hutchinson (R), Colorado’s Jared Polis (D), Hawaii’s David Ige (D), Indiana’s Eric Holcomb (R), Kansas’s Laura Kelly (D), Louisiana’s John Bel Edwards (D), Maine’s Janet Mills (D), Maryland’s Larry Hogan (R), Massachusetts’s Charlie Baker (R), Minnesota’s Tim Walz (D), Missouri’s Mike Parsons (R), Nevada’s Steve Sisolak (D), New Mexico’s Michelle Lujan Grisham (D), New York’s Kathy Hochul (D), North Carolina’s Roy Cooper (D), Oregon’s Kate Brown (D), Pennsylvania’s Tom Wolf (D), Washington’s Jay Inslee (D) and American Samoa’s Lemanu P. S. Mauga (D).

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo (D) announced the investigation in March following allegations by Auxin that Chinese companies had illegally circumvented tariffs on solar panel components by manufacturing the parts in Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.

The Solar Energy Industries Association has sharply criticized the investigation and said its actions could devastate the domestic solar industry, while a bipartisan group of senators, including Sens. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), has also called for a swift end to the probe. 

Tags Commerce Department Gina Raimondo Joe Biden Solar Industry solar panels

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File - A Chevrolet Bolt is displayed at the Philadelphia Auto Show, Jan. 27, 2023, in Philadelphia. Electric vehicles are far less reliable than gasoline-powered cars, trucks and SUVs, mainly because most automakers are still learning how to build a completely new power system, according to this year's auto reliability survey by Consumer Reports.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
File - A Chevrolet Bolt is displayed at the Philadelphia Auto Show, Jan. 27, 2023, in Philadelphia. Electric vehicles are far less reliable than gasoline-powered cars, trucks and SUVs, mainly because most automakers are still learning how to build a completely new power system, according to this year's auto reliability survey by Consumer Reports.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

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