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House Dems Defend Stimulus Clean-Energy Grant Program

Jan 31, 2013
Source: 
(The Hill)

Three senior Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee defended a clean-energy grant program Wednesday, saying Republicans used misleading figures in a report earlier this month to slam the initiative.

The Democrats said the Treasury Department’s 1603 program — named after the section of the stimulus act that authorized it — helped leverage billions of dollars in investments for domestic firms and added thousands more jobs than a report by committee Republicans indicated.

“Your report misrepresents the results of a successful Recovery Act program. … We hope this report is not a harbinger of the Committee’s approach to renewable energy issues in the new Congress,” committee ranking member Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), and subcommittee ranking members Reps. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) and Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) wrote to 

Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.).

The 1603 program provides cash grants for up to 30 percent of the cost of renewable energy projects that meet certain criteria. The department started offering the cash grants in lieu of tax credits in the 2009 federal stimulus because tax equity markets had bottomed out.

The lawmakers said the program had brought in $43 billion in private investment as of July 2012, citing the Treasury Department.