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Sep 12, 2014

US Senator Chuck Grassley Cuts PTC Critics Down to Size

United States Senator Chuck Grassley is known for his straight-talk and for his pragmatic, problem-solving approach to public policy.

Recently, he spoke out in support of the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind energy with some choice words for those who would repeal tax incentives for wind while keeping intact tax incentives for other sources of energy.

Abundant, affordable energy is essential to our economic health and incentives help all energy types, especially emerging energy types, succeed.

Here are Senator Grassley’s remarks:

“I’m glad to defend the wind production tax credit and wind energy. Wind energy:

  • Provides more than 4% of U.S. electricity
  • Supports 80,000 American jobs
  • Spurred $105 billion in private investment in the U.S. since 2005
  • Displaces more expensive and more polluting sources of energy, lowering electricity prices for consumers.
  • More than 550 industrial facilities across 44 states manufacture for the wind energy industry.

The wind industry today supports 80,000 American jobs. The tax incentive has spurred $105 billion in private investment in the U.S. since 2005.Opponents of the renewable energy provisions want to have this debate in a vacuum. They disregard the many incentives and subsidies that exist for other sources of energy, and are permanent law.

For example, the 100 year-old oil and gas industry continues to benefit from tax preferences that benefit ONLY its industry.  These are not general business tax provisions – they are specific to the oil and gas business. Here are a few examples:

  • Expensing for intangible drilling costs
  • Deduction for tertiary injectants
  • Percentage depletion for oil wells
  • Special amortization for geological costs

These four tax preferences for this single industry result in the loss of more than $4 billion annually in tax revenue.  Why is repealing a subsidy for oil or gas or nuclear energy production a tax increase on energy producers and consumers, while repealing an incentive for alternative or renewable energy is not?  It’s not intellectually honest.”

– United States Senator Chuck Grassley (R – Iowa)