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Solar news: June 26th, 2020

In this week’s Solar News Roundup, New Jersey’s governor announces support for an environmental justice bill, and the federal government introduces a new infrastructure bill full of provisions for the solar and storage industries.

New Jersey governor announces support for new environmental justice bill

Last week, Governor Phil Murphy of New Jersey announced his support of a bill that would require applicants filing for environmental permits to consider their projects’ impact on low-income and marginalized communities nearby. Murphy said that the law would be the strongest of its type in the country should it be passed.

The law would allow New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Projection to reject permit applications if the project might harm low-income or marginalized communities. Advocates for environmental justice say that low-income communities of color are often subjected to the worst health effects of pollution and industrial damage. “In many ways, this has been the Holy Grail for the environmental justice movement,” said Nicky Sheats, with the New Jersey Environmental Justice Alliance.

New infrastructure bill introduced in the House of Representatives with several solar and storage provisions

This week, the $1.5 trillion ‘Moving Forward Act’ was introduced in the House of Representatives, a landmark proposal to help rebuild America’s national infrastructure. In addition to more traditional infrastructure improvement ideas, the bill includes several provisions that support solar and storage development.

Among the provisions included are an extension of the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) at 30% through 2025, a new storage ITC, tax credits for clean energy manufacturing, grid modernization provisions, and more. Representative Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, commented that the ‘Moving Forward Act’ applies principles of the Green New Deal.

The bill is slated to be voted on before July 4.


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