Grassley Wins Major Victories for Iowa in Senate Energy Bill
Grassley spearheaded the effort to include an environmentally responsible renewable energy package. He is chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, which is responsible for all tax legislation.
"Homegrown, renewable energy lies in our nation's best interests," Grassley said. "Including this tax package in the energy bill means we're looking to the future. Renewable energy curbs pollution. It enhances America's energy independence. And it helps create jobs in Iowa. Our state's agricultural bounty not only feeds the world, it can also supply energy to America."
The Grassley-sponsored renewable energy tax incentives included in the energy bill are the following.
- Wind energy. The bill includes Grassley's pending legislation, the Bipartisan Renewable, Efficient Energy with Zero Effluent (BREEZE) Act (S. 530), to extend the production tax credit for energy generated by wind for five years. The tax credit expired Jan. 1. Grassley authored the Wind Energy Incentives Act of 1993, which established the first-ever wind energy production tax credit.
- Biomass. The package includes Grassley's bill, the Growing Renewable Energy for Emerging Needs (GREEN) Act (S. 756), which extends the tax credit for the production of biomass, which Grassley authored and which became law in 1992, and expands the definition of biomass to include saw dust, tree trimmings, agricultural byproducts and untreated construction debris. Also included is the extension of the tax credit for the production of electricity from poultry waste.
- Biodiesel. The bill provides an income tax credit and excise tax rate reduction for biodiesel fuel mixtures. These new incentives will encourage the production of biodiesel, a clean-burning alternative fuel made from domestic renewable sources, such as soybean oil. Earlier this week, the National Biodiesel Board presented Grassley with its National Energy Leadership Award in recognition of the major initiatives he's led to promote greater markets for biodiesel and other renewable fuels. "Senator Grassley is an untiring champion for biodiesel and is truly deserving of this national recognition," said Ron Heck, National Biodiesel Board member and American Soybean Association President. Grassley noted that Iowa is the nation's largest producer of soybeans and is home to two biodiesel plants. "Biodiesel is an environmentally sound way to fill the gap between energy supply and demand," Grassley said.
- Small ethanol producer credit. The legislation expands the definition of an eligible small ethanol producers so small cooperative producers of ethanol will receive the same tax benefits as large companies. It also clarifies that the tax credit can flow through to the patrons of the cooperatives.
- Grassley has a long history of promoting ethanol as a clean-burning, renewable, domestically produced energy source. He scored a major victory for the Midwest when he not only blocked anti-ethanol efforts, but also countered by orchestrating congressional approval to extend the ethanol excise tax exemption to 2007.
- Fuel taxes. The bill moves a portion of the taxes from gasohol ? gasoline blended with ethanol ? into the Highway Trust Fund to ensure that fuel taxes are used for highways, not unrelated government programs.
- Energy-efficient home appliances. The package includes legislation Grassley originally sponsored, the Resource Efficient Appliance Incentives Act (S. 686), to encourage the manufacture and use of super energy-efficient washing machines and refrigerators with a tax credit for the production of those appliances.
- Swine and bovine waste. The package includes Grassley's legislation, the Providing Opportunities With Effluent Renewables (POWER) Act of 2001 (S. 1219), which provides new opportunities for energy production, a useful method of waste disposal and increased farm income by creating a production tax credit for electricity generated from swine and bovine waste.
"Overhauling U.S. energy policy must include efforts to preserve the environment while making the best use of the Earth's natural resources," Grassley said. "By promoting the growth of alternative energy and renewable fuels, we can take historic strides for environmental stewardship, while encouraging economic growth and enhanced energy security.