Sen. Charles Grassley opened up a teleconference with reporters on Tuesday saying he and other wind-energy supporters would be holding a press conference today on Capitol Hill seeking congressional approval for an extension of the wind-energy production tax credit.
The credit expires at the end of the year and concern about its demise has once again stalled out development of new wind towers across the country.
"Wind energy production accounts for thousands of jobs in Iowa and obviously many times that across the country," said Grassley, R-Iowa.
While advocates realize the tax credit needs to be phased out over the next few years, they nonetheless say the tax credit needs a one-year extension in this lame-duck session of Congress. "This credit is crucial to seeing the wind industry succeed and mature," Grassley said.
The Senate Finance Committee has passed 60 "tax extender" provisions for businesses, including the wind-energy credit. Grassley said he saw no reason anyone would want to cull the wind-energy credit out of that piece of legislation.
On the farm bill, Grassley said Congress has to reach an agreement on a one-year extension of the 2008 legislation or adopt a five-year bill. Grassley said if he were a betting man, he would take the one-year extension. He will advocate for the full five-year bill, but opposition within his own party remains.
"On the part of conservatives in both the House and the Senate, if you get into next year after March 1 you will have a lower baseline to deal with so you would save more money," Grassley said. "There is some opposition to having any farm bill whatsoever. That would come from probably the same group of people. And then you have got city people who don't know anything about the farm bill anyway, but they want the food-stamp part of it."
One the farm bill, Roll Call reported late Monday that House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, may lay out by week's end how to resolve the farm bill.
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