Pingree, Maine Solar Installer Criticize Trump Tariffs on Solar Panels

Tue, 01/23/2018 - 4:15pm
PORTLAND, Maine—On Jan. 24, Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-ME) and Phil Coupe, co-founder of Maine solar installer Revision Energy, released statements opposing the Trump Administration’s proposed 30 percent tariff on imported solar panels. The country’s $28 billion solar industry gets about 80 percent of its solar panels from imports. 
“Given President Trump’s infatuation with fossil fuels, I think the true motivation behind this tariff on solar panels is slowing down our country’s movement to cleaner sources of energy, rather than holding China accountable,” said Congresswoman Pingree. “First, President Trump proposes drilling for oil off our coast. Now, he wants to make it more expensive for Maine families and companies to convert to solar energy, hurting local installers and their employees in the process. Both actions amount to generous handouts for the fossil fuel industry.”
"Trump's 30 percent tariff on solar imports is another reckless attack on the renewable energy sector that we continue to see at both the federal and state level," said Phil Coupe, co-founder of Maine-based solar installer ReVision Energy. "The two solar manufacturers that pushed for the tariff, Suniva and SolarWorld, are majority owned by foreign companies, so how is this tariff supposed to help the local solar industry and U.S. jobs? These backward steps on clean energy by the federal government really put the responsibility on local and state officials and business leaders to re-affirm their commitment to clean energy and the jobs, security, economic development, and environmental benefits that clean energy provides to everyone."