FREMONT, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–December 16, 2014–
The following is a statement and open letter from Petersen-Dean to the Solar Energy Industries Association:
PetersenDean, a privately-held roofing and solar company, announced today that is calling for the president and full board of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) to resign immediately because of its recent position in the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) hearings regarding the imposition of anti-subsidy and anti-dumping duties against China and Taiwan. Company executives are also asking for an ethics investigation under the SEIA by-laws, including Article 10.
According to the letter: “In spite of these companies having been found guilty of illegal and unfair widespread underselling and dumping of Chinese solar panels and their components in the U.S. market (three times by the Commission in some cases), SEIA supported them. SEIA is an American solar trade organization that should not be representing Chinese and Taiwanese interests in these matters.”
According to PetersenDean Roofing & Solar President Erin Clark, the trade association’s support for China and Taiwan in these matters is a clear conflict with its own stated purpose to keep America competitive.
“SEIA has become nothing more than a tool used by Chinese companies to try and bankrupt and destroy American solar manufacturing. Thanks to some of these actions, thousands of American workers have lost their jobs in the past three years due to the closure of solar manufacturing plants in America. All of this at a time when our domestic economy and employment are struggling to recover from the devastating recession,” said Clark.
Petersen Dean has a long-standing initiative to buy American made products.
“We made a decision at PetersenDean to only source our products from North America. It’s costing us a little more money to buy these panels, but we are supporting the American economy, we are supporting the American worker and we’re reinvesting those dollars back in America,” said Jim Petersen, Founder of PetersenDean. “It’s that simple. I want to make sure that our products stand the test of time and that our customers are happy with it and that’s why we choose to go American. That’s what Solar4America is all about. It’s about lowering our electric bills, but it’s also about American jobs, American panels and reinvesting in America. It’s something we deeply care about and it’s why we felt compelled to ask for these resignations.”
The full letter is included with this news release and will be delivered to SEIA on Tuesday, December 16, 2014. The letter calls for the immediate resignation of Rhone Resch the president and CEO of SEIA, the entire Executive Committee of SEIA and ALL board members whose parent companies are in China.
About PetersenDean/Solar4America: Founded in 1984 by Jim Petersen, PetersenDean is the largest, full-service, privately-held roofing and solar company in the United States. Specializing in residential and new home construction, PetersenDean works with some of the nation’s largest builders and developers. With more than a million roofs under its belt, the Fremont, CA-based company employs 4,600 and operates in five states: Arizona, California, Florida, Nevada, and Texas. Please visit http://www.petersendean.com/ for more details.
|PetersenDean Roofing & Solar|
|39300 Civic Center Drive, Suite 300|
|Fremont, CA 94538|
|December 16, 2014|
|Solar Energy Industries Association|
|505 9th Street, N.W., Suite 800|
|Washington, D.C. 20004|
This letter is to inform you that we are asking the president and full board of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) to resign immediately because of your recent position in the International Trade Commission (ITC) hearings regarding the imposition of anti-subsidy and anti-dumping duties against China and Taiwan. We are also asking for an ethics investigation under the SEIA by-laws, including Article 10.
We were impressed to see SEIA vice president for trade and competitiveness John Smirnow testify last Monday, December 8, 2014, with some of the biggest manufacturing names in our industry. That said, we were confused. In spite of these companies having been found guilty of illegal and unfair widespread underselling and dumping of Chinese solar panels and their components in the U.S. market (three times by the Commission in some cases), SEIA supported them. SEIA is an American solar trade organization that should not be representing Chinese and Taiwanese interests in these matters.
Perhaps you’re confused too. An American trade organization generally protects the industry its charter claims to represent. An American trade organization does not trade one sector of the industry for another; in this case, American manufacturing jobs for installation jobs. SEIA is a trade group that should be an advocate for all of the American solar industry; especially when providing testimony before the United States International Trade Commission in this critical case that will have long-term and far-reaching impacts on the solar industry.
According to your own mission statement: “SEIA is the voice of the solar industry at the federal and state level, advocating for the protection and expansion of the U.S. market for all solar technologies. We represent the entire solar industry; from the small-business owners to the multi-national companies, from the installers on the roof to the engineers in the lab. We build coalitions of solar energy professionals and renewable energy supporters to champion the legislative successes that grow our industry and keep America competitive.”
Your support for China and Taiwan in these matters is a clear conflict with your own stated purpose to “keep America competitive.”
In order to restore balance to the governing body of SEIA, a new president and board needs to be established immediately. SEIA is a powerful Washington, D.C. based national trade organization whose member companies are involved in research, manufacture, distribution, finance, and building of solar projects domestically and abroad, with today, a seemingly greater emphasis on abroad.
Among your many activities, SEIA lobbies Congress for the advancement of the solar power industry, but not necessarily the industry based in this country. Seventy percent of the Board Members who control the organization are employed by Chinese-based manufacturing and affiliated companies and thus most of your lobbying activities are intended to benefit these interests, frequently to the detriment of American manufacturers and installers. This is no surprise given the plans laid out by Wuxi Suntech in The New York Times in 2009.
Although the U.S. solar industry continues to be the most robust and fastest growing in the world, the multiple economic and employment benefits it could generate for our nation are being undermined by the ill-advised activities of SEIA.
SEIA is now a tool used by Chinese companies to try and bankrupt and destroy American solar manufacturing. Your alliance with Chinese manufacturers is responsible for thousands of American workers who have lost their jobs in the past three years due to the closure of solar manufacturing plants in the U.S. at a time when our domestic economy and employment are struggling to recover from the devastating recession.
SEIA needs to be reorganized so that the membership structure includes a greater balance of industry interests while ameliorating the undue influences of the Chinese and Taiwanese manufacturers. The sooner this restructuring is completed, the sooner the U.S. solar industry can get back squarely on its feet and deliver the many promises of economic growth, technological advancement and environmental benefits the industry holds for the future of our country and its people.
We, the undersigned, call for the immediate resignation of Rhone Resch the president and CEO of SEIA, the entire Executive Committee of SEIA and ALL board members whose parent companies are in China. That might clear up some of the confusion.
Resign now: Nat Kreamer, Tom Starrs, Mike Healy, Scott Hennessey, Arno Harris, Tony Clifford, Craig Cornelius, Todd Glass, Steve Trenholm, Kathy Weiss, Polly Shaw, Thomas Koerner, John Smirnow.
Jim Petersen, CEO of PetersenDean/Solar4America
Erin Clark, President of PetersenDean/Solar4America
and our 4,600 employees who support American jobs
for PetersenDean Roofing & Solar
Christine Rombouts, 949-631-1557