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Tuesday, November 30, 2010 - 8:00AM

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, or Payments for Specified Energy Property in Lieu of Tax Credits, program during the lame-duck session. The letter says that the program has created tens of thousands of jobs and encouraged the building of tens of thousands renewable energy projects. 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 reasons that the Section 1603 program did not create a new federal incentive program, but instead allowed renewable energy projects to use existing investment and production tax incentives. The 26 senators who signed the letter are: 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.

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