Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley is defending his stance on renewable fuels, following an op-ed piece in Sunday’s Cedar Rapids Gazette. Grassley says he firmly backs the national Renewable Electricity Standard, which would mandate that utility companies set aside part of their profits for developing things like wind and solar energy.
“I do support renewable electric standards because I voted for it several times in the last ten years and support what came out of the Energy Committee, which is run by Senator (Jeff) Bingaman, a Democrat,” Grassley says. “I happen to agree with him on renewable electric standards.” The editorial was written by author Steve Milloy, publisher of JunkScience.com.
Milloy quotes a federal report that says solar and wind are each subsidized at a rate 15 times that of nuclear power, 55 times that of coal and 97 times that of natural gas. Grassley says he backs them all. “All I can say for people that are comparing wind energy and solar energy and ethanol and the costs of all that because of the tax credit to nuclear, I support nuclear as well as all the others,” Grassley says.
The editorial claims “it’s only the taxpayer wallet that makes these forms of energy renewable.” Grassley acknowleges some renewable fuels aren’t yet being produced at a rate that makes them profitable, including corn-based ethanol, an industry where Iowa is the national leader.
“We wouldn’t have an ethanol industry if we had not put the tax incentive in place,” Grassley says. “In other words, we’d still be 100% dependent upon petroleum. We’d be importing more petroleum into the country and we wouldn’t have the renewables that we have today.” See the original editorial at: twitpic.com/2unn19