Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), “father” of the wind energy production tax credit and a longtime advocate for homegrown renewable energy, issued the following statement on wind energy becoming the leading source of electricity in Iowa.
“The proof is in the pudding. Harnessing wind power to generate more than 40 percent of the state’s electricity is a big milestone. Wind is a critical part of our nation’s all-of-the-above energy strategy. It creates thousands of jobs, supports economic development, boosts tax receipts, attracts investment in our state and puts extra money in farmers’ pockets. It delivers affordable energy for consumers that’s also safe for the environment and helps build American energy independence.
“During this pandemic, I’m especially grateful for our wind energy workers. They provide essential services to keep the lights on, homes heated and internet services up and running. Iowans have sown ingenuity, innovation and investment into the wind energy industry and today are reaping the benefits of pollution-free electricity.”
According to the American Wind Energy Association, in 2019 the wind industry employed over 9,000 Iowans and provided over $69 million in land lease payments. Those lease payments diversify income for Iowa farmers, and are particularly important as farm commodity prices decline during coronavirus-related market disruptions.
Grassley authored the Wind Energy Incentives Act of 1993, which established the first-ever wind energy production tax credit. His leadership paved the way for wind energy to power Iowan’s homes and businesses with pollution-free energy, shrink the carbon footprint and harvest an abundant, renewable, fossil-free resource.
As chairman of the Senate Finance Committee in 2003, Grassley led the effort to include an environmentally responsible energy package including nearly $15.5 billion in federal tax incentives to grow America’s renewable energy sector.
“U.S. wind power has grown significantly over the past decade and Iowa has been a key part of the industry’s expansion. Iowa made one the country’s earliest commitments to wind energy and residents have reaped benefits in rural economic development, new manufacturing jobs, and affordable, clean electricity as a result. Forward-thinking initiatives from Senator Grassley and other local leaders have allowed the Hawkeye state to harness the economic and clean air benefits of wind energy. This bipartisan policy leadership in supporting wind power is an example of success for the rest of the country. We are proud to say that wind is now the largest source of electricity in Iowa, providing reliable, low-cost, and zero-carbon power to communities throughout the state,” American Wind Energy Association CEO Tom Kiernan said.
Over his years advocating for wind and renewable energy, Grassley has received the Jobs Champion Award, the Dr. Harold D. Prior “Friend of Iowa Wind Energy” award, the U.S. Wind Champion Award, the Holmberg Lifetime Achievement Award and the Fueling Growth Award.