Grassley: Trump will attack wind energy ‘over my dead body’

Grassley: Trump will attack wind energy ‘over my dead body’
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Iowa Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleySenate GOP poised to break record on Trump's court picks This week: GOP mulls vote on ‘abolish ICE’ legislation Kavanaugh paper chase heats up MORE (R) says he won’t allow Republican nominee Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says he doesn't want to use 'adversary' to describe Russia Comey urges Americans to vote for Democrats in midterms Roby wins Alabama GOP runoff, overcoming blowback from Trump criticism MORE to attack wind energy if he wins the presidential election. 

Grassley, running for re-election in the nation’s leading wind power state, told Yahoo News, “If he wants to do away with it, he’ll have to get a bill through Congress, and he’ll do it over my dead body.”

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Grassley authored the original wind energy production tax credit in the 1990s and he’s been one of its biggest defenders in the Senate, which last year reauthorized the credit. 

Trump, though, has long been hostile to wind energy, saying turbines are ugly — he once lost a legal battle to block an offshore wind farm near a golf course he owns in Scotland — and a threat to birds in the United States. 

“The wind kills all your birds,” Trump said at an August rally. “All your birds, killed. You know, the environmentalists never talk about that.”

Wind turbines kill about 500,000 birds annually, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, a figure lower than bird deaths from cats or buildings.

Grassley told Yahoo that the tax credit for wind has been a boon to the economy in Iowa, which produces nearly one-third of its electricity from wind. 

“We knew it had environmental benefits that were very important, but I would say making sure we were more energy independent was the most important reason for supporting all forms of alternative energy,” Grassley said. 

“When I got it passed, I didn’t know it would be the big thing it is today, where 31 percent of the electricity in Iowa comes from wind.”

The Cook Political Report considers Iowa a toss-up state in November’s presidential election.