A group of 26 U.S. senators, all but one of them Democrats, has sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and Finance Committee Ranking Member Charles Grassley (R-IA) urging a two-year extension of the U.S. Treasury's popular Section 1603 payment in lieu of tax credits program, according to an update from accounting and consulting firm Novogradac & Co. LLP. The letter (pdf required) says that the program, which will expire at the end of 2010 without legislative action, has created tens of thousands of jobs and encouraged the building of tens of thousands renewable energy projects. The senators cite a survey of renewable energy tax credit industry participants that anticipates a drop of 56 percent in financing for renewables in 2011 if Congress does not extend the program, according to Novogradac.