Renewable Energy Groups Disappointed With Cut to Energy Program in State Aid Bill

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010 at 4:13 pm

As Annie just reported, the House just passed a state aid bill that provides $16.1 billion in Medicaid funding and $10 billion to pay teachers’ salaries, much to the delight of Democrats.

But the renewable energy industry is not pleased with a provision in the bill that would cut $1.5 billion in renewable energy loan guarantees. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) had to make the cut, one of many, to make the bill deficit-neutral and gain Republican votes. The House took up the Senate version of the bill, which included the loan guarantee cut, today. The bill passed 247 to 161, mostly on party lines.

In a series of letters sent during the last week, the Solar Energy Industries Association, the American Wind Energy Association, and others criticized loan guarantee funding cut.

They also noted $2 billion was cut from the program last summer to pay for the popular cash-for-clunkers program, which gave provided consumers with cash rebates when they traded in their old cars for newer, more efficient ones.

“With this latest rescission, a total of $3.5 billion will be eliminated from the program, and many pending projects will go unfunded. An estimated private sector investment of $30 to $35 billion will be squandered,” an Aug. 9 letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said.

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