WASHINGTON – Sen. Chuck Grassley today asked Energy Secretary Rick Perry a series of questions about a study Perry directed that appears geared to undermine the wind energy industry.  The study is meant to explore issues central to protecting the long-term reliability of the electricity grid, including an investigation of “market-distorting” federal policies that “create acute and chronic problems for maintaining adequate baseload generation and have impacted reliable generators of all types.”  

“I understand you set a mid-June deadline for the study,” Grassley wrote.  “I’m concerned that a hastily developed study, which appears to pre-determine that variable, renewable sources such as wind have undermined grid reliability, will not be viewed as credible, relevant or worthy of valuable taxpayer resources.  In fact, at least one similar study has already been conducted by the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory.  It’s my understanding that study took two years to complete.”

Grassley pointed out that Perry, as former governor of wind energy-producing Texas, surely has an appreciation of wind energy’s contributions around the country.  MidAmerican Energy finds that wind energy helps keep electricity rates down.  “Any study reviewing the impacts of wind energy on grid reliability and security should look closely at Iowa’s utility operations as evidence of its success,” Grassley wrote.

Grassley asked a series of questions about the study, including which organizations that analyze grid reliability and security will be involved, whether a contractor will conduct it, the cost to taxpayers and whether stakeholders will be able to comment on a draft.

Grassley is the father of the wind energy production tax credit and has a long record of advocating for fair treatment of energy from renewable sources alongside fossil fuels.

The letter is available here.