A Lump of Coal for the Solar Industry
By The Denver Post Editorial Board
December 5, 2017
In the next few weeks President Donald Trump and his administration will make decisions that could jack up the price of solar panels, boost electric rates for millions of Americans and lead to job losses, all to the benefit of a handful of corporations.
If the administration takes those steps, we believe it will undermine working markets and dabble in crony capitalism that has already drawn fire from both the left and the right.
Trump has until Jan. 13 to act on a recommendation from the International Trade Commission to impose tariffs on imported solar cells. Two bankrupt solar panel makers — Suniva and SolarWorld — filed a complaint arguing that cheap imports have hurt domestic producers. The commission agreed. It is worth noting that Georgia-based Suniva is owned by Chinese and Wall Street interests. SolarWorld is the subsidiary of a German company.
Inexpensive imported solar cells have fueled the growth for solar power and solar employment. Stiff tariffs could lead to the loss of up to 88,000 jobs, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.