Indian-American Congressman says his newly- formed Solar Caucus generating excitement

Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Illinois, at a recent fundraiser in New York. (Photo: Arul Louis, IANS)

Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, D -Ill., says there is bipartisan interest in his newly-launched Congressional Solar Caucus, and that American leadership in the global arena is critical to this industry.

This Feb. 16, Krishnamoorthi along with Republican Congressman Ralph Norman of South Carolina, launched the Solar Caucus, and “We are circulating a ‘dear colleague’ letter to members about it; there’s a lot of excitement,” he told News India Times.

The Solar Caucus aims to “serve as a unique forum for Members of Congress and the public to discuss high priority issues relating to the renewable energy and solar technology production sectors,” said a release from Rep. Krishnamoorthi.

At a time when the White House has not exhibited its support for this sector and instead focused on rejuvenating the coal industry, Rep. Krishnamoorthi contended that the solar industry could survive because it is becoming an economically successful technology, “even setting aside incentives or subsidies any government is willing to give.”

“So because of that it is now becoming a job-creating industry. It has now more jobs than even coal,” he told News India Times.

“So the reason Congressman Norman and I are coming together is because we see American leadership as vital for the 21st Century,” he added in a phone interview over the weekend.

Krishnamoorthi, who is the first Member of Congress to come from the solar industry, told this correspondent the effort has to be kept bipartisan and not get “mired” in Washington’s divisive politics. “The reason Ralph is involved is because solar energy is the type of source that both parties are excited about,” he contended. Krishnamoorthi used to head a solar firm in the Chicago suburbs before he became a lawmaker on Capitol Hill.

“The Solar Caucus will work on a bipartisan basis to find common ground to tackle issues facing solar business and communities,” said Krishnammorthi in the press release. “We will raise awareness for how policymakers, business leaders, and academic experts can work together to foster jobs, growth, and America’s leadership in the solar industry,” he added.

“The solar industry is booming across the country, and is a major leader in economic growth and providing quality jobs,” Congressman Norman is quoted saying in the press release, adding, “We will focus on how the industry, as a whole, can continue to create jobs, increase investments, and strengthen American competitiveness.”