For Immediate Release: June 6, 2022
Contact: Matt Spence 202-728-6134
IBEW President Lonnie Stephenson’s Statement on the Biden Administration’s Actions to Spur Clean Energy Manufacturing
Lonnie Stephenson, president of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), issued the following statement supporting the Biden-Harris administration's plan to boost domestic manufacturing of renewable technologies of the future by authorizing the Defense Production Act to lower energy costs, strengthen the power grid, and create good-paying jobs:
“Thanks to the Biden-Harris administration’s clean energy and climate agenda, last year marked the largest deployment of solar, wind, and batteries in United States history. Our nation is now a magnet for investment in energy manufacturing for the future.
“Today’s action by the Biden administration will build America’s energy arsenal and spur domestic energy manufacturing while reducing energy costs, supporting good-paying union jobs, and strengthening U.S. energy independence. And it will do it while maintaining strong labor standards.
"We applaud the Biden-Harris administration's recognition of these challenges and the ability to strike the delicate balance of aggressively restoring domestic solar manufacturing jobs through the invocation of the Defense Production Act, federal procurement policy, and sustaining the construction of solar projects already underway.
“The outsourcing of critical American goods like solar panels has weakened supply chains and increased reliance on overseas production with limited labor and environmental standards. We have long opposed solar panel dumping in the United States and will continue to do so.
"As a union that represents workers in the manufacturing sector, the IBEW has opposed any attempts by the industry to circumvent policies put in place to protect U.S. workers, the economy, and competitiveness.
"The IBEW once represented hundreds of thousands of members who engineered, built and assembled all forms of electrical equipment, components, and consumer and industrial products, so we are well aware of what past trade practices have done to this crucial domestic sector. The decimation of the domestic manufacturing industry will take years to repair, but these actions are a step in the right direction. The IBEW will always support policies to create the renewable jobs of the future with competitive wages and strong collective bargaining agreements.
"The IBEW’s 775,000 members urge swift implementation of President Biden’s executive actions and look forward to working with the administration to ensure the successful transition of solar panel manufacturing domestically and the continuance of current projects that support family-sustaining union jobs."
The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) represents approximately 775,000 members and retirees who work in a wide variety of fields, including construction, utilities, manufacturing, telecommunications, broadcasting, railroads and government.