As a federal policymaker, Senator Grassley's farm-bred experience as a steward of the land has long guided his work on Capitol Hill to promote renewable energy and a clean environment. That includes working at the policymaking tables to tap Iowa’s agricultural abundance as an alternative source of energy. Diversifying farm commodities and agricultural byproducts – such as corn, soybeans, switchgrass and livestock waste – and capturing natural resources – such as wind -- to produce homegrown, renewable energy is a winning solution to address America’s energy security. Iowa and America's economic and consumer dependence on oil imported from volatile regions of the world influences America’s national, energy and economic security. Policymakers can empower America in the 21st century and help preserve the environment by fostering research and production of green power.
As the number one producer of corn, ethanol, biodiesel and cellulosic ethanol, Iowa has the opportunity to lead our nation’s renewable fuels industry. This cleaner-burning, homegrown energy supports the economy by generating 47,000 jobs and nearly $5 billion of Iowa’s GDP. In 2018, Iowa produced 4.5 billion gallons of ethanol, which reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 43 percent compared to conventional gasoline.
Senator Grassley was instrumental in the development of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and continues to pressure both Democratic and Republican Administrations to faithfully implement the RFS. In 2019, Senator Grassley secured an extension of the Biodiesel Tax Credit (BTC) through to 2022. The BTC will help to expand markets and support the expansion of biodiesel and renewable diesel production by providing much-needed certainty that the industry has been lacking.
In addition to renewable fuels, Iowa is a national leader in the generation of wind power. Wind energy supports more than 9,000 jobs in Iowa alone and provides 40 percent of the state's electricity. As the "father" of the Wind Energy Incentives Act of 1993, Senator Grassley sought to give this alternative energy source the ability to compete against traditional, finite energy sources. Wind energy is a renewable and clean source of energy that has already played an enormous role in reducing emissions.
The most effective action Congress can take to promote a transition to clean energy is to advance policies that increase the availability and affordability of alternative and renewable energy sources. If alternative energy sources can become competitive, market forces will drive a natural, low-cost transition in our energy mix that will be a win-win for American families.