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Green Jobs Advocate: U.S. Trade Panel Recommendations Will Kill Solar Jobs

Published: Saturday, November 11, 2017 - 5:05am
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One of the campaign promises Donald Trump made was to revive domestic coal production, but solar proponents are warning as many as 88,000 jobs will be lost and the industry will see a major setback if the Trump administration imposes an import fee on solar panels coming from other countries.

The U.S. International Trade Commission is scheduled to send its recommendation to the president on Monday for a 35 percent tax on solar panels imported from countries like China.

While low-price imports of panels have undercut the ability of some U.S. manufacturers to compete, Garrett Garner-Wells with Colorado's Environment Research and Policy Center says the tariff would make renewable-energy options less affordable for consumers.

“Right now in the U.S., one in 14 homes is powered by solar. Homeowners and business owners who want to see solar on their own homes and in their communities are up against some really powerful players who don’t want to see that happen” he said.

Arizona’s statewide solar penetration reached 5.8 percent in 2016. Buckeye had the highest penetration at 29.8 percent.