To the Editor: Don’t let the tax deal compromise clean energy

The debate in Washington over tax cuts is threatening a renewable energy program that has saved tens of thousands of jobs and spurred clean energy development across the country. The Section 1603 Treasury Grant Program for renewable energy development must be extended this year as part of the upcoming tax package, but the program is not included in the tax package supported by the White House. We need your help to protect the jobs, economic development and environmental benefits of clean energy.

The Section 1603 Treasury Grant Program has been extraordinarily successful. To date, more than 1,300 renewable projects have utilized Treasury Grants.  Many of these projects would have stalled without the grants they received because of the lack of adequate financing from the Wall Street collapse. A study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that the Treasury Grant Program saved more than 55,000 jobs in the wind industry alone.  Within the solar industry, the program has supported roughly 20,000 U.S. jobs through more than 1,100 projects across 40 states.

Absent of a long-term commitment to renewable energy, like a renewable electricity standard, we must at the very least extend the Treasury Grant Program for another year, and should extend it for two years, to continue this growth and continue to compete in the international market for clean energy technologies.   With the program set to expire in just a month’s time, action on this critical investment is needed now.

Please write your senators today!

Environmental Law & Policy Center

Chicago, Ill.

From the Dec. 15-21, 2010 issue

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