Sen. Chuck Grassley, who once said Donald Trump would end a tax incentive for wind energy production “over my dead body,” doesn’t think the president has a “case out against wind.”
That hasn’t stopped the Iowa Republican from reminding the White House that he’s the author of the wind energy production tax credit legislation and should be consulted when the president is developing energy policy.
Grassley made his comment Wednesday, the same day Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds met with the president at a White House energy roundtable. Earlier this week, Reynolds declined to criticize Trump for comments he made during a June 21 Cedar Rapids rally about wind energy lacking reliability.
“I don’t want to just hope the wind blows to light up your homes and your factories … as the birds fall to the ground,” the president said while advocating an all-of-the-above energy policy.
Grassley didn’t attend the rally, but said he heard the president “did mention wind and something about killing birds.” He also heard the president mention alternative energy.
“So if he supports alternative energy, he supports wind,” Grassley told reporters on his weekly conference call.
He thinks Trump was using the occasional lack of wind as an example of why an all-of-the-above energy policy is needed. Even MidAmerican, which has an alternative energy generation goal of the equivalent of 89 percent of its customers’ annual retail usage, acknowledges the need for other energy sources, Grassley said.
Grassley added that he reminded someone “close to the White House — I’m not going to tell you who I told, but pretty darned close to the president — that I’m the author of the wind energy tax credit and ought to have some consideration in what he says about wind.”
He’s also convinced there “are probably more birds that fly into Trump Tower than (are killed by) wind energy in Iowa.”
“I hope they tell him that,” Grassley added.
Reynolds attended a White House meeting along with GOP Govs. Paul LePage of Maine and Pete Ricketts of Nebraska, independent Gov. Bill Walker of Alaska and Native American tribal leaders.
Neither Trump nor Energy Secretary Rick Perry mentioned wind energy — or oil, gas or electricity — in their prepared remarks.
In a statement later, Reynolds noted that Iowa became a national leader in wind energy production through early investments. As a result, Iowans enjoy “some of the lowest electric rates in the nation.”