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Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

A broad coalition is pushing Congress to make a key residential solar incentive more available to the low-income and communities of color.

Driving the news: Residential Renewables for All brings together around 350 organizations and individual advocates, including environmental groups, civil rights organizations and renewables companies.

  • The ad-hoc coalition is formally launching today (although it quietly began in August).
  • It includes the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), the NAACP, the Union of Concerned Scientists and Black Owners of Solar Services.

How it works: They want revision a longstanding tax credit for installing home solar systems and some other clean energy tech.

  • Right now the credit doesn't help low-income people with limited or no tax liabilities, or who cannot wait years, under the current structure, to monetize the value.
  • The group wants the credit available as an upfront "direct pay" incentive available regardless of tax liability.
  • They estimate that 26 million households, including a combined 6.2 million Black and Latino households, "are unable to benefit...because they do not have sufficient taxable income."

What they're saying: NWF's Mustafa Santiago Ali tells Axios it's one of the ways vulnerable communities can move from "surviving to thriving" by fighting pollution, lowering energy bills, and giving people more control over energy choices.

  • “When we have these types of initiatives in place, giving people the opportunity to have energy democracy, giving people the opportunity to play an active role in the lessening of the impacts and breaking our addiction to fossil fuels, then we have a triple-win situation,” Ali says.

What's next: Starting this week the group's members will ramp up outreach to lawmakers. They're also working with the Solar Energy Industries Association, a spokesperson said.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Oct 16, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Key clean power provision likely won't survive in Dems' spending bill

A construction worker walks along a dirt road at the Avangrid Renewables La Joya wind farm in Encino, New Mexico, on Aug. 5, 2020. Photo: Cate Dingley/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A pillar of Democrats' plans to speed deployment of zero-carbon electricity is likely to be cut from major spending and tax legislation they are struggling to move on a party-line vote, per multiple reports and a Capitol Hill aide.

Driving the news: The New York Times, citing anonymous congressional aides and lobbyists, reports that West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D) has told the White House he "strongly opposes" the Clean Electricity Performance Program.

Mike Allen, author of AM
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Fauci fires back at Rand Paul for slam on tonight's "Axios on HBO"

Responding to charges by Sen. Rand Paul on Sunday's "Axios on HBO," NIAID director Anthony Fauci told "ABC This Week" that it's "molecularly impossible" for U.S.-funded bat virus research in China to have produced COVID-19.

Why it matters: The issue 0f Wuhan research was reignited on the right last week with a National Institutes of Health letter to Congress disclosing more about the research.

Manchin, Schumer huddle with Biden in Delaware to discuss spending bill

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (L) and Sen. Joe Manchin (R) at the U.S. Capitol on Nov. 13, 2014. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) will meet with President Biden and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Sunday morning in Delaware as Democrats look to reach an agreement on the massive spending measure.

Driving the news: Democrats are still negotiating what to keep in the bill and how to pay for it, with Biden saying on Thursday that the party does not have the votes to raise the corporate tax rate.