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Clean Energy Executives Worry Democrats Have Abandoned Them

The party leadership says relief is coming, but within the industry, hope is beginning to wane.

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi departs from a news conference on Capitol Hill on April 21, 2020. 

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi departs from a news conference on Capitol Hill on April 21, 2020. 

Photographer: Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg

When the U.S. Congress passed a $2.2 trillion stimulus package back in late-March without a cent devoted to green industries, clean energy companies were understanding. Although they’d lost more than 100,000 jobs by that point, on their way to more than 600,000 by the end of May according to industry estimates, it made sense that lawmakers would have to address the immediate public health crisis before they could start thinking about an economic recovery.

It was when the Democratically controlled House passed another $3 trillion stimulus bill in mid-May with no major green energy provisions that the industry started to get concerned. Executives and lobbyists had learned to expect climate skepticism, even denialism from Republicans. But the brushoff from the chamber led by Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, stung. Many now quietly worry that the House Speaker—whose to-do list also includes addressing police violence and civil unrest, dealing with the public health consequences of Covid-19, and the looming election—will let this once in a lifetime opportunity to transition to a carbon neutral economy slip away.