Ag Policy Blog

Grassley: Bet on a Farm Bill Extension

Chris Clayton
By  Chris Clayton , DTN Ag Policy Editor
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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.

I can be found on Twitter @ChrisClaytonDTN.

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Bonnie Dukowitz
11/24/2012 | 8:51 AM CST
C'mon Jay, Don't be so quick to ridicule and demean. Please show enough respect of opinions by others to at least read before putting others down. My very first sentence of my contribution to this blog is quite self explantary. Where and how can you interpret that I favor tax subsidies for big corporations of any type. I am of the opinion all industry should be self sustaining, without specials favors, at some point. I did not disagree with Matthews' statement in any sense but simply tried to keep to the subject matter of the article.
Jay Mcginnis
11/22/2012 | 8:25 AM CST
Mathew makes too much sense, he doesn't realize that we need to sustain the big fossil fuel industries to keep jobs in dirty coal mines, exploding oil platforms and huge military excursions in Iraq and other Mideast countries to keep us in gas guzzling carbon belching monster pu trucks/SUV's! AND when that oil gets low we go to the tar sands and miles deep in the ocean to wring out the last drop by using even more carbon fuels to cause greater climate change....... um but you know Bonnie, there was an election and the majority rejected the Tea Party's ideology you preach,,,, it has become like "junk science" and while you have the right to keep on espousing that, "We the People" have mandated wind turbines over guns to get our energy needs and folks that think like Matthew are in charge!
Bonnie Dukowitz
11/16/2012 | 8:41 AM CST
Mathew, Was referencing subject matter of the article, not the total mess in government.
Matthew Schreurs
11/15/2012 | 9:32 AM CST
Bonnie, then why do we continue to give big oil subsidies? They haven't needed it for a very long time. Plus, we have a military that provides big oil protection in certain areas of the world. Should we start charging big oil for that as well? I think we need to continue to push for the expansion of wind, solar, and renewables to make them "profitable" so that we can keep our troops out of harms way. There is a reason we are always involved in conflict in the Middle East and not Africa. It's called Oil.
Bonnie Dukowitz
11/15/2012 | 5:50 AM CST
Sen. Grassley, I am not opposed to research and developement of alternative energy sources. When will wind, solar, renewables etc. provide enough energy to self sustain without all the hoopala of tax incentives to support it. Free enterprize creates jobs, not government! The efforts to promote jobs for wind construction in Spain has that country in a dire financial crisis. Is that not a concern?