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U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, has proposed amendments to the Bring Jobs Home Act before the U.S. Senate that would restore tax incentives for wind energy and domestic biodiesel.

"Renewable energy supports thousands of jobs and generates billions of dollars in investment across the country," says Grassley. "If the Senate truly wants to create and retain jobs, restoring clean energy tax incentives should be at the top of the list."

However, the Republican senator admits the filing is mostly a gesture, as he claims the amendments will likely be shot down due to partisan feuding. Furthermore, he says the broader Bring Jobs Home Act is considered a “political messaging bill” from the Senate Democrats and isn’t expected to pass.

"I don’t expect to be allowed to offer my amendments because the Senate majority leader shuts out amendments from the Republican side," says Grassley. "But I want to draw attention to the potential growth in a sector of the economy that’s right under our noses.  This area could get a real boost if the majority in Congress chooses to act to restore these tax incentives."

Grassley helped secure renewal of the expired wind energy and biodiesel tax provisions in a tax extenders bill that passed the Senate Finance Committee in April. The EXPIRE Act bill includes a two-year extension of the wind production tax credit (PTC) and would also extend wind developers’ option to choose a 30% investment tax credit in lieu of the PTC. The package includes more than 50 expired U.S. tax breaks overall.

Nonetheless, the tax extenders bill stalled in the full Senate in May. In June, Grassley points out, 302 groups and companies urged congressional leaders to take up the EXPIRE Act again.

The American Wind Energy Association recently announced it was launching television ads to publicly thank Grassley, as well as U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley of Iowa and Sen. Mark Udall of Colorado, for being a strong supporter of wind power.

Update: As Grassley predicted, the Bring Jobs Home Act was blocked on Wednesday after Republicans filibustered the bill in a 54 to 42 vote. Notably, Grassley followed his fellow Republicans and also voted against the legislation. However, it appears the senator did somewhat achieve his goal of drawing attention to the PTC and biodiesel tax extensions: His announcement about the proposed amendments was distributed by various media outlets and lauded by wind industry stakeholders.


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