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Grassley urges ‘fair shake’ for wind energy in tax credit extension discussion

Wind FarmFrom Press Release

 

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa is urging fair treatment of the wind energy production tax credit whenever the committee of jurisdiction takes up expired or expiring tax provisions.

“Good tax policy requires certainty that can only come from long-term predictable tax laws,” he wrote to U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, chairman of the Finance Committee.  “Businesses need certainty in the tax code so they can plan and invest accordingly.  And, while I look forward to working with my colleagues in the future to enact tax reform and put an end to the headaches and uncertainty created by the regular expiration of tax provisions, right now our focus must be on extending current expired or expiring provisions to give us room to work toward that goal.”

Grassley’s letter noted that opponents of renewable energy single out such provisions for removal while overlooking the many generous, permanent provisions benefiting other forms of energy.  Grassley has detailed the many provisions benefiting the oil, gas and nuclear industries in remarks on the Senate floor.   His letter said Iowa ranks third in the nation in terms of installed wind capacity, providing more than 28 percent of Iowa’s electricity, while supporting more than 6,000 jobs.  Nationally, the wind energy industry supports more than 73,000 jobs.

“With jobs and the economy at the top of Americans’ concerns, it would be a travesty for our new majority to put these jobs at risk,” he wrote.

Grassley also wrote that the wind energy industry is the only industry that has put out a phase-out plan for its tax credit.  He said such a phase-out should occur in the context of comprehensive tax reform, where all energy tax provisions are on the table.

He authored and won enactment of the first-ever wind energy production tax credit in 1992.  The incentive was designed to give wind energy the ability to compete against coal-fired and nuclear energy and helped to launch the wind energy industry.  He has worked to extend the credit ever since.

Grassley is a senior member and former chairman of the Finance Committee. His letter is available here.