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Bridge the Gaps: How the Federal 48C Program Can Help Build a Strong Manufacturing Base for Clean Energy

Clean technology manufacturing is having a moment. In order to address climate change, we are going to need to produce a lot more solar panels, wind turbines, heat pumps, building efficiency products, electric vehicles, batteries, and other clean energy goods. Since passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, manufacturers have already announced more than $200 billion in private investment for solar, wind, energy storage, and electric vehicle projects in the U.S. The 48C tax credit is particularly well suited to build U.S. manufacturing capacity in specific segments of clean energy supply chains where we face the biggest gaps—gaps that are reflected in our new supply chain analysis.

Washington State Takes Charge of its Clean Manufacturing Future

The road to net-zero emissions requires rapid acceleration of clean energy technology and low-carbon materials production. The Evergreen State is well-positioned to lead this clean manufacturing revolution and grow a new generation of high-road jobs. Washington is already home to world-class production facilities for materials like steel rebar and aluminum plate, and its strong climate commitments and highly-skilled manufacturing workforce are two cornerstones of a robust low-carbon industrial economy.

Clean Manufacturing Leadership Act Will Transform Washington’s Industrial Sector

The Washington State Legislature delivered the Washington Clean Manufacturing Leadership Act (2SSB 5269) to Governor Inslee’s desk, where it awaits his signature. 2SSB 5269 creates a statewide industrial strategy to strengthen Washington’s existing manufacturing base. The bill harnesses the more than $50 billion in industrial transformation investments in the Inflation Reduction Act to build a robust, low-carbon manufacturing economy in Washington State.

Don’t Workers Deserve the Everything Bagel?

Within six months of President Biden’s signature on the Inflation Reduction Act, companies announced a wave of solar, battery, and other clean tech manufacturing investments that will create more than 100,000 jobs across 31 states to make the nuts and bolts of clean energy. Many of the job openings will be in communities that have endured decades of divestment, deindustrialization, and economic insecurity. That response to the Inflation Reduction Act’s unprecedented federal funding is faster than anyone predicted. It offers an early validation of the strategy behind the law: to wield public investments to support climate action, good jobs, and greater equity at the same time. But some prominent commentators argue this is trying to do too much. Ezra Klein, for example, writes that such multi-pronged goals suffer from “everything bagel liberalism” that threatens the success of these landmark investments.