WASHINGTON, Dec. 18 (UPI) -- Extending measures in U.S. economic recovery provisions until 2012 would encourage the development of renewable energy, lawmakers said.
U.S. Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., introduced legislation that would extend provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 related to renewable energy to 2012.
Wind and solar projects needed significant backing from investments banks. The economic recession that gripped world markets during the past year, however, froze much of that funding.
"If the grant program is not extended, bank profits will again become the limiting factor on renewable energy development in the United States, and that makes no sense," said Feinstein.
Merkley said the measure would make sure the incentives are there to encourage renewable energy development in tough economic times.
The proposed extension would allow renewable energy developments to move forward by taking advantage of federal grants and tax credits. A new tax credit would target solar manufacturing facilities.
"This bill makes sure incentives for renewable energy keep functioning during this recession and keep acting as job-creation engines," said Merkley.