If you’re looking for an easy way to urge your legislators to go bold on climate action—especially with an extension of the federal solar tax credit—we’ve got you! As we wrote in our last post, the new IPCC Climate Report has made people want to take action, and luckily for us there is a simple new way for everyone to weigh in about the upcoming bills in congress: #Call4Climate.
The Call4Climate tool connects you to your legislators just by entering your zip code, gives you a script to follow if you’d like, and has four easy asks for you to make to your legislators (five if you add the federal solar tax credit-which you should! See below.) You can click through to Call4Climate to take action now, or read on to learn more about what’s on the table.
Budget Reconciliation: Our Best Shot at Good Climate Policy
This week the Senate voted on the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill. The bill includes some new spending for climate measures like electric school buses, electric vehicle charging stations and public transit. But compared to what’s needed to take on the climate crisis, it’s a drop in the bucket.
Democrats plan to include meatier climate measures in the upcoming budget reconciliation, a complex process that would allow a simple majority of the Senate to pass a bigger, better climate bill. Senator Bernie Sanders took to the Senate floor to talk about what’s included in the reconciliation process- watch here:
In an article about the reconciliation process, energy expert David Roberts said, “Congress is working on what is likely to be its last big shot at climate change policy for a decade or more. If things go well, the legislation will include a clean energy standard (CES) and clean energy tax credits, which together would revolutionize the US electricity system. If things don’t go well, there will be no substantial climate legislation for many years to come.”
As we read on Monday, years to come is too late. We need to urgently give it all we’ve got right now. Calling is so important because most Senators take their constituents’ messages seriously into account in their decision making. Volunteering, donating or heading out into the street are all great next steps if you’re looking for more. This is it, so let’s not sit on the sidelines.
At least some senators will need to be convinced to support budget reconciliation, and all senators need to hear from us that it’s important for them to pressure their colleagues to be bold on climate. To make it easy for constituents to put the pressure on their Senators, Professor Leah Stokes, an energy researcher at the University of California Santa Barbara, created the #Call4Climate dialer specifically for the reconciliation bill asks.
An Easy Way to Make Your Voice Heard
When you call the Call4Climate number at (202)-318-1885, a voice asks you to punch in your zip code. When you do, it reminds you to make four (five with ITC!) demands for a bold climate bill. Those demands include a Clean Electricity Standard that puts the country on a path to 100% clean power by 2035, ensuring 40% of green funding goes to frontline communities, ending fossil fuel subsidies, and creating a Civilian Climate Corps. Those demands are explained in detail on Call4Climate’s website, which also has a script if you’re not ready to adlib the demands. Then, it patches you through to your senators’ office lines so you can bring them the message yourself.
Extending the Solar Investment Tax Credit
If you’ve been following our blog for a while, you’re aware that Ipsun has been directly advocating for an extension of the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for several years, and we urge you to add this on to your list of asks for your Senator. While tax policy may seem boring, the ITC has in fact been shown to be the single most effective climate policy on the books for several decades.
An extension would clearly accelerate the expansion of renewable energy, and experts think it may be the one piece of climate policy that has the best chance of being enacted, given the divided nature of congress. For this reason, it’s critically important for everyone to make their voice heard with their legislators and push for the ITC to be increased to 30% (up from the current 26%) for another ten years.
You can add the ITC extension ask to the list of asks on the Call4Climate script just by saying, “I urge you to vote for the ITC extension at 30% for the next ten years with a direct pay option.”
Amicus lobby day in pre-Covid times. Those were the days.
Ipsun has joined with the Amicus Solar Cooperative to call for a direct pay option for the tax credit so that people who don’t have a large tax liability can benefit equally. We have signed on to an Amicus group letter to congress asking for this option, and have lobbied with Amicus with this important request for equity.
In a recent meeting with Senator Warner’s staff organized by the Solar Energy Industries Association, Ipsun was able to explain how the ITC has not only benefitted our customers by making solar more affordable, but it has also benefitted our company by allowing us to pay our crew members a good living wage and provide benefits including full health care coverage. The creation of good paying jobs is one of the true promises of the renewable energy future, and we were able to show how Ipsun relies on the ITC to make good on that promise. Learn more about the ITC here.
Call Now and Spread the Word!
With the House voting on the infrastructure bill soon, and reconciliation around the corner, we truly need all hands on deck. The #Call4Climate number is (202)-318-1885—put it on your speed dial—or you can check out the website first for more information and a script. Please share this number with family and friends, spread it far and wide on social media, share this post—do whatever you can to get as many people urging their Senators to boldly act on climate in line with the IPCC warnings and science that came out on Monday.
Stay tuned as we will continue to share climate actions you can take in the coming days. What Congress does in the next month may have a huge impact on whether our kids and grandkids have a livable future. Let’s make as much noise as we can.