Senate Dems press for lame duck action on renewable power grants

Sens. Maria CantwellMaria CantwellOvernight Regulation: Labor groups fear rollback of Obama worker protection rule | Trump regs czar advances in Senate | New FCC enforcement chief Dems urge Sessions to reject AT&T-Time Warner merger Overnight Energy: Zinke, Perry take heat over Trump budget MORE (D-Wash.), Dianne FeinsteinDianne FeinsteinGrassley: Comey must say if FBI investigated Sessions Grassley doesn't see how Judiciary 'can avoid' obstruction probe Senators grill Perry on Yucca nuclear storage plans MORE (D-Calif.) and 24 other Democrats are asking for a two-year extension of the program – which sunsets at year’s end – in “any tax package the Senate considers during the current lame-duck session.”

Sen. George LeMieux (R-Fla.) joined 26 Democrats on the letter.

The letter notes the grants have been  “widely credited with maintaining strong growth in the renewable energy sector in 2009 and 2010, despite the severe economic downturn” and helped create jobs.

“Prior to the economic meltdown, clean energy project developers relied on ‘tax equity partnerships’ with investors to take advantage of clean energy tax incentives.  In 2008, the economic meltdown froze the $8 billion tax equity market, jeopardizing billions of dollars in clean energy investment.  The TGP [Treasury Grant Program] proved an effective replacement for these partnerships, supporting around $18.2 billion in clean energy investment to build 8,600 megawatts of renewable energy generation through October 25, 2010,” states the letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidDems see surge of new candidates Dems to grind Senate to a halt over ObamaCare repeal fight GOP fires opening attack on Dem reportedly running for Heller's Senate seat MORE (D-Nev.), Minority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellRocky rollout for Senate healthcare bill Overnight Healthcare: Latest on Senate healthcare bill | Four conservatives say they'll oppose | Obama slams bill | Health groups offer scathing criticism Sanders: I hope McConnell listened to protesters outside his office MORE (R-Ky.) and the leaders of the Senate Finance Committee.

“With most utilities and developers still unable to utilize existing production and investment tax credits, and our nation’s economic recovery dependent on the creation of new jobs, we believe a two-year extension of the TGP is critical,” adds the letter, which is signed by senators including Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), John KerryJohn KerryBudowsky: Dems madder than hell Tillerson: 'My view didn’t change' on Paris climate agreement CORRECTED: Three members of Mueller's team have donated to Democrats MORE (D-Mass.), Debbie StabenowDebbie StabenowNo certainty on cost-sharing payments to insurers Dems express concerns about Trump's proposed rural development cuts Trump, Clinton campaign aides launch their own bids MORE (D-Mich.) and others.

“We believe that any tax package should be designed to stimulate economic growth and job creation, and should include an extension of the Treasury Grant Program with an appropriate offset,” the letter states.