A bipartisan group of 26 senators yesterday sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus and Finance Committee Ranking Member Charles Grassley urging a two-year extension of the Section 1603 Payments for Specified Energy Property in Lieu of Tax Credits Program during the lame-duck session. The letter highlights how the Section 1603 program was the reason the renewable energy industry was able to invest tens of billions of dollars in new projects and create tens of thousands of jobs over the last two years despite the severe economic downturn. In addition, the senators cite a survey of renewable energy tax credit industry participants that anticipates a drop of 56 percent in financing for renewables in 2011 if Congress does not extend the program.
The letter was co-signed by: Michael Bennet, D-Colo.; Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.; Maria Cantwell, D-Wash.; Ben Cardin, D-Md.; Kent Conrad D-N.D.; Bryon Dorgan, D-N.D.; Dianne Feinstein, D- Calif.; Al Franken, D-Minn.; Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.; Tim Johnson, D-S.D.; John Kerry, D-Mass.; Amy Klobuchar; D-Minn.; George LeMieux, R-Fla.; Robert Menendez, D-N.J.; Jeff Merkley, D-Ore.; Patty Murray, D-Wash.; Ben Nelson, D-Neb.; Bill Nelson, D-Fla.; Jack Reed, D-R.I.; Bernie Sanders, D-Vt.; Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H.; Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich.; Tom Udall, D-N.M.; Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I.; Ron Wyden, D-Ore.; and Mark Udall, D-Colo.