This response to my message to U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley has been sitting in a file folder waiting for me to write a response. Upon review, I don’t really have a response as the letter speaks for itself. Shorter Grassley: wind, ethanol and biodiesel are what I have been and am willing to work on going forward.
Dear Mr. Deaton:
Thank you for taking the time to contact me. As your senator, it is important for me to hear from you.
I appreciate you sharing your concerns regarding climate change with me. I have long said that I acknowledge that a changing climate is a historical and scientific fact. I also recognize that most scientists say manmade emissions contribute to climate change. In addition, it is just common sense to promote the development of clean forms of energy. In fact, throughout my tenure in the Senate, I have been a leader in promoting alternative energy sources as a way of protecting our environment and increasing our energy independence. I’ve been an outspoken advocate of various forms of renewable and alternative energy, including wind, biomass, agriculture wastes, ethanol and biodiesel. As the former Chairman and Ranking member of the Finance Committee, I’ve worked for years to enact tax policies that support the growth of these alternative resources and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. We need to develop a comprehensive energy policy and review the tax incentives for all energy sources. Our goal should be that clean energy alternatives become cost-effective, viable parts of our energy mix to power our homes and businesses for the long term.
To the extent that clean, alternative forms of energy can be made more cost effective than fossil fuels, it will be a win-win situation. In the meantime, any measure that forces a shift from low-cost energy sources to higher cost alternatives will impose hardships on hard working Americans, especially those least able to afford higher prices for home heating, food, and transportation. Higher energy costs also affect jobs, particularly in the manufacturing sector.
I believe we have an obligation to future generations that our environment is both clean and safe. Additionally, I believe it makes economic sense to have a healthy environment. Throughout my tenure in the Senate, I have authored and supported legislation that promotes renewable energy sources to protect the environment, support our economy, and increase our energy independence. I’ve been an advocate of various forms, including wind, ethanol, and biodiesel.
As you may know, Iowa has had much success in the production of these renewable energy sources. As the number one producer of corn, ethanol, and biodiesel, our state leads the nation’s renewable fuels industry. This cleaner-burning, homegrown energy supports the economy by generating 37,000 jobs and nearly $4 billion of Iowa’s GDP. In 2020, Iowa produced 3.7 billion gallons of ethanol. In regards to environmental benefits, ethanol reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 43 percent compared to conventional gasoline.
As the “father” of the Wind Energy Incentives Act of 1993, I sought to give this renewable energy source the ability to compete with traditional, finite sources. Today, wind energy supports over 9,000 Iowa jobs and provides 40 percent of our state’s electricity. Like ethanol and other advanced biofuels, wind energy is renewable and does not obligate the United States to rely on unstable foreign states. Further, the U.S. Department of Energy recently released its annual wind Markets Reports. Within this report are several notable updates about Iowa. Iowa currently leads the U.S. in wind-generated electricity. At 57 percent, Iowa has become the only state where over half of our in-state generated energy comes from wind. Lastly, the wind industry supports over 116,000 U.S. jobs.
Going forward, I believe the most effective action Congress can take to address this issue is to advance policies that increase the availability and affordability of renewable energy sources. If these energy sources can become more competitive, market forces will drive a natural, low-cost transition in our energy mix that will be a win-win for American families.
Again, thank you for taking the time to contact me. Please keep in touch.
United States Senator