- National Wind Watch: Wind Energy News - https://www.wind-watch.org/news -

GOP senators warn Grassley against extending wind subsidies

Sen. Kevin Cramer of North Dakota is leading a group of nine Republican senators warning fellow Republican Chuck Grassley, the chairman of the Finance Committee, not to allow for the extension of wind tax credits set to expire at the end of the year.

The senators, most from major fossil fuel-producing states, say wind has become cost competitive with other energy sources and does not need federal subsidies anymore. Grassley, an Iowa senator, is a leading champion of the wind industry. His state had the second-most installed capacity of wind as of April. Iowa generates 42% of its electricity from wind.

The wind production tax credit “was supposed to be temporary in order to level the playing field with other power generators,” the senators write in a letter they are sending to Grassley Tuesday morning. “However, over time, the reverse has occurred. This tax provision has become a competitive advantage to wind generators.”

Congress should avoid continuing the wind tax credit when it considers extensions of expiring tax provisions or through the appropriations process later this year, the senators will tell Grassley.

The other senators signing the letter are John Barrasso, chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, Lamar Alexander, Shelley Moore Capito, Mike Enzi, John Hoeven, James Lankford, Pat Toomey, and Jim Inhofe.

Congress already gave an extra year of life to the wind production tax credit, which was set to expire at the end of 2019, in December as part of year-end must-pass spending legislation, fulfilling a Grassley priority.

House Democrats have more recently prioritized extending the wind production tax credit again. Democrats extended a variety of clean energy tax credits, including for wind production, as part of an infrastructure package the House passed this month, to help the renewable industry recover from massive job losses from the coronavirus pandemic. The Senate never took up the bill.