WASHINGTON - Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association, released the following statement today in reaction to a congressional compromise bill that extends the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits through the end of the year, but does not address tax extenders such as the 1603 Treasury program: "It is disappointing that Congress has failed to extend the 1603 Treasury program as part of the payroll tax bill. Small businesses, which are the backbone of our economy, will bear the brunt of this inaction. "The 1603 program enabled solar installers to develop 22,000 projects across the United States, with an average of $153,000 in private sector investment generated by each project. These projects were developed primarily by small businesses that created jobs and new economic opportunity in the U.S. The expiration of the program is putting many of these companies at risk. "While larger energy developers have the scale and resources to receive tax equity from Wall Street, small businesses don't and are hurt most by Congress' inaction. Small businesses are the engine of economic growth in America, and the result of a continued lapse of the 1603 program will be job losses and undue economic hardship for the entrepreneurs we are relying on to create jobs and get our economy back in order. "There remains a compelling need for the 1603 program. Accordingly, SEIA will continue working with a broad coalition of energy technologies to pursue every opportunity to extend this important and highly successful incentive."
Established in 1974, the Solar Energy Industries Association is the national trade association of the U.S. solar energy industry. Through advocacy and education, SEIA is working to build a strong solar industry to power America. As the voice of the industry, SEIA works with its member companies to make solar a mainstream and significant energy source by expanding markets, removing market barriers, strengthening the industry and educating the public on the benefits of solar energy. www.seia.org.