Grassley urges House to support wind energy tax credit, reject last year’s effort to cap credit
WASHINGTON — Senator Chuck Grassley said today that while it’s unlikely, he wantsto make sure the House of Representatives doesn’t repeat the failed effort it made last year tolimit the wind energy production tax credit in an energy tax bill that members will consider nextweek.
Grassley was able to successfully push back on the House legislation in 2007 andestablish a record of Senate support for the tax policy, and today he asked Congressman BruceBraley of Iowa to weigh in with House leaders against another attempt to scale back the windenergy tax credit.
In a letter today, Grassley said there’s not much time for members of the Iowa delegationto make their views known as its just been made clear that the House will take up an energy taxpackage next week. Braley introduced legislation yesterday to extend the wind energyproduction tax credit for seven years. Grassley was the author of the legislation that created thecredit in 1992, and has led congressional efforts to repeatedly extend this tax incentive, alongwith tax incentives for ethanol, biomass and biodiesel.
The text of Grassley’s letter to Braley follows here.
February 8, 2008
The Honorable Bruce Braley
United States House of Representatives
1408 Longworth Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
I had the chance to read your news release yesterday and want to say how much Iappreciate your support for a lengthy extension of the wind energy production tax credit, knownas Section 45 of the tax code.
Of course this tax policy is very important to me as the author of the first-ever windenergy production tax credit in 1992. I’ve been able to shepherd through Congress extensions ofthe credit I worked to create and know how vitally important tax certainty is to entrepreneurs andothers developing new and innovative sources of energy. Unfortunately, with the new Houserules requiring paygo, and the cost of a five-year extension of Section 45 being nearly $11billion, it’s unlikely Congress will be able to extend my wind credit for more than a couple ofyears in the next extension.
I’m sending this letter today because of news reports this morning indicating that Houseleaders may schedule action – both in committee and on the floor – next week on an energy taxpackage. I’d rather sit down and talk with you about these issues, but there’s so little time that Iwanted to get word to you and others in the Iowa delegation right away about what’s at stakewith this legislative debate for wind energy in particular.
Last year, the House of Representatives approved an energy tax package that providedfor a four-year extension of the wind energy production tax credit. This shorter-term extensionis less than ideal, as you know, but what’s worse, the House package would have gutted thepolicy by limiting the wind energy credit. The change would have prevented wind energyproducing companies from getting the full current credit. I was able to successfully use myleverage to stop the House version of Section 45 last December with a procedural vote in theSenate that ensured the bill could be amended. The resulting Senate amendment to the Housebill returned to the original uncapped structure of the wind energy credit for a two-year period,which wind energy producers in Iowa said was a better deal for both producers and consumers.I want to do everything possible to make sure another effort to cap this credit is stopped.Although I believe our Senate action was heard loud and clear over in the House and anotherattempt to limit the wind energy production credit is unlikely, I urge you to make your viewsknown directly to Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rangel.
Renewable energy can and does provide so much good for the state of Iowa and for theentire nation. It’s good for national security. It’s good for the environment. And it’s good forjobs and the economy in rural America. Wind energy tax policy has been one of my mostsuccessful initiatives, and I look forward to your continued support for proven tax policies thathelp to develop wind and other home-grown sources of alternative energy.
United States Senator
Ranking Member, Committee on Finance
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