Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash. – along with co-sponsors Sens. George LeMieux, R-Fla.; Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.; Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich.; Jeff Merkley, D-Ore.; and Ben Nelson, D-Neb. – has proposed legislation that would extend the U.S. Treasury's popular cash-grant program through the end of 2012.
The proposal, an amendment to the pending tax-extenders bill, would create at least 65,000 jobs in the solar energy sector alone, according to an independent study. Set to expire at the end of this year, the cash-grant program provides cash grants in lieu of tax credits for renewable energy projects. According to Cantwell, extending the program now would prevent a slow-down in the rate of project development in anticipation of its impending expiration.
The amendment also would make nonprofit power producers eligible for the program. These non-tax-paying public power producers and rural electric co-ops, which serve over 25% of Americans, are currently excluded from receiving grants under the program.
SOURCE: Office of Sen. Maria Cantwell