Solar and clean energy industries continue to grow in the United States, despite new challenges these days from Capitol Hill.
The EPA drastically shifted priorities away from renewables, emissions standards look to reduce, and solar tariffs pose an uphill battle for solar companies across the U.S.
For the environmentally conscious, the cost-conscious, and the tech-forward, current policy can be frustrating, to say the least. When there’s so much potential for solar and other clean energy options to transform the grid, it’s hard to see some politicians cling to the ways we solved problems a hundred years ago.
Sam Jammal is one such frustrated citizen — who also happens to have a background in both politics and the solar industry.
In fact, Sam is running for Congress in California’s 39th District .
Sam Jammal’s Political and Solar Industry Background
Sam is back in his hometown of Orange County, California, but he’s spent much of his career in Washington, D.C. His work in government includes the Senate, the Commerce Department, and Chief of Staff for a member of Congress.
He went on to work with SolarCity and Tesla. Sam says his experience revealed a disconnect between government and the vast potential of clean energy.
For consumers, lowering electricity bills while supporting a cleaner environment is a major appeal of solar. But old political interests tend to favor fossil fuel power generation, and have taken a stronghold over the past two years.
Sam Jammal's Clean Energy Platform
A clean energy economy is a priority for Sam Jammal. Broadly speaking, he's focused on transitioning from fossil fuels, investing in green jobs, removing the solar tariff, and developing targeted incentives to encourage solar and energy storage manufacturing and deployment.
More specifically, the clean energy page on his website states that he advocates for:
- Establishing a green infrastructure bank for schools
- Involving more veterans in the clean energy industry
- Using US Postal Service facilities to host community solar systems
- Building greater electric vehicle charging capacity in infrastructure projects
What You Can Do Today
While the news coming out of Washington is discouraging, Sam sees more people taking action by getting their solar projects rolling. Rather than wait anxiously and hope for obstacles to resolve themselves, many people are actively participating in supporting the shift to renewables.
Sam notes, “We can actually take steps right now to do our small part and help fight climate change. It is concerning that we’re going to have a four-year pause in our government on any sort of climate policy. But people are becoming more aware that [solar is] affordable. They’re acting on it. And that’s encouraging to see.”
From Government Policy to the Solar Industry
Sam sees empowering the voices of everyday people as an important skill he translated from politics to the solar industry and back again.
Having seen both sides of the issue, Sam has a unique grasp on the necessities needed to move decision-making along for solar. He sees the action of citizens as a huge part of that.
In the current political climate, “We’re not going to have regulatory structures that help drive adoption. It’s going to have to be consumers adopting it.”
Americans Vote With Ballots, Time, and Dollars
If you’re one of the U.S. citizens wanting to see clean energy gain more traction, there are lots of ways to support solar.
Apart from voting for environmental and reduced emission policies, you can also volunteer with clean energy organizations, help educate your friends and family about the advantages of solar and clean energy, advocate for them to choose clean power, and take steps to install your own rooftop solar system.
As many of the solar rebates and incentives expire over the next few years, they won’t likely be renewed or extended with the current political climate.
By voting with your dollars, you can help break down the outdated interests slowing policy and propel innovation forward. It’s incredible how powerful we really are, especially when we all work together.
For more info on Sam Jammal and his platform, visit Sam4Congress.com.
If you’re interested in more information about the first steps for your own rooftop solar project, chat with an energy advisor today.