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Congress must side with renewable energy tax credits

Media Update the San Francisco Chronicle, reporter Peter Darbee in his “Congress must side with renewable energy tax credits”

On Feb. 27, the House of Representatives passed a timely measure to prevent the expiration of these tax credits at the end of this year. On April 10, after several failed tries, the Senate finally passed similar legislation – but without spending cuts or new revenue to offset the cost, a deal-breaker for House leaders. If unresolved, this standoff could deal a devastating blow to the renewable energy industry.

Failure by Congress to renew the credits could cost the United States more than 100,000 jobs and billions of dollars annually in new investments (Helio blog bold).

These losses would be felt across the country, in states such as California, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington.

Solar energy is one of California’s hottest targets of new venture investment. Since the start of 2007, PG&E alone has signed contracts with solar producers for 1,100 megawatts of power, a testament to the industry’s enormous commercial progress.

But the Washington Post reports that bankers are now telling solar companies to hold off on new projects that won’t be completed this year, due to uncertainty over the fate of tax credits. More than 20,000 solar-related jobs in California alone are at risk, according to industry studies.