Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa 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. He made the following comment on President Obama’s visit to Iowa on wind energy this week.
“I’m glad the President likes Iowa but his visit won’t have much to do with getting the wind energy tax credit extended. He could travel down the street from the White House to the Capitol and talk to the congressional leadership instead, especially in the Senate, controlled by his party. It was surprising to read in the paper this week that he hasn’t talked to key committee chairmen in his own party in months. Maybe the lack of communication is why the President and the Senate Democrats let the biodiesel tax credit expire at the end of 2011 and made that industry suffer from uncertain tax policy.
“There’s strong bipartisan support in both the House and the Senate for extending the wind energy tax credit. I introduced a bill with bipartisan co-sponsors in March, for example. The provision is hung up in the lack of a way forward on dozens of expiring tax provisions. The President could exert his leadership by working with Congress on a way forward instead of calling for a provision that’s a no-brainer for many of us. He’s focusing on the easy part of a bigger task. The stakes for the wind industry and the country in general will only get worse with delay. It’s time to act, not politick.”
Information on Grassley’s bipartisan bill to extend the wind energy tax credit is available here.