MONIZ HAS HIGH HOPES: Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said Monday that he hopes President Obama and the GOP-controlled Congress can come to terms on a whole slate of issues before Obama’s term expires. Moniz hopes to find Republican cooperation on government funding for infrastructure when he takes the administration’s case to lawmakers on Tuesday, as well as climate change and Iran, where he’s been a member of the team negotiating a nuclear deal.
“I’m sympathetic to the argument that the tax code has gotten too cluttered with too many special-interest provisions. That’s the reason many of us have been clamoring for tax reform. But just because we haven’t cleaned up the tax code in a comprehensive way does not mean that we should pull the rug out from under domestic renewable energy producers,” Grassley said at a policy forum hosted by the American Council on Renewable Energy in Washington, D.C. “Businesses need certainty in the tax code so that they can plan and invest,” he added. “The only sound way to reach this goal is through a comprehensive tax approach. Targeting certain provisions for elimination outside of tax reform makes no sense.”
Today, April 28, there will be a Webcast of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources hearing to receive testimony by Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz on the Administration’s Quadrennial Energy Review (QER). The hearing will take place at 10:00 a.m. ET in room 366 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.
Construction is officially underway for the first offshore wind farm in U.S. waters. Offshore wind developer Deepwater Wind on Friday announced that its CEO, Jeffrey Grybowski, is meeting with Rhode Island leaders today in North Kingstown to celebrate early building activities on the Block Island Wind Farm, a planned 30-megawatt, five-turbine project located approximately 3 miles southeast of Rhode Island’s Block Island.
With some of the ladders, platforms and railings already made by Quonset-based Specialty Diving Services visible inside a warehouse behind her, Raimondo said the state has an opportunity to position itself as a leader in offshore renewable energy. “Not only are we going to create jobs,” Governor Raimondo said, “but we’re going to rebrand ourselves as being more innovative and, over time, make Rhode Island a place that has lower energy costs, more diversified energy supply and greener energy.”
Far more jobs have been created in wind and solar businesses in recent years than were lost in the collapse of the coal industry, and renewable-energy companies expect record growth in the United States this year. “I started this company in 2009, and I have seen tremendous growth since then,” said John Billingsley, chief executive of Tri-Global Energy in Dallas. Billingsley built his business on wind energy, which generated more than 10 percent of the electricity in Texas last year. He said he is hiring more workers to expand into solar power.
Most important, United States wind energy reduced carbon pollution by 125 million metric tons in 2014, the equivalent yearly emissions of 26 million cars. As the lowest cost zero-emission energy source, wind energy must play a critical role in tackling the most pressing challenge facing all of Earth’s lands: climate change.
Xcel Energy is named the number one wind power provider for the 11th consecutive year. “Wind is becoming more and more important to us than ever,” Mike Herro, community service manager at Xcel explained. The company holds nearly 6,000 megawatts of wind power. That powers nearly 3 million homes.
It would be foolhardy to stanch federal investment in the research, development and commercialization of clean and renewable sources of energy. There is huge money to be made in this sector, which can bolster regional economies, rejuvenate the tax base, enhance our global competitiveness, create hundreds of thousands of new jobs and reduce carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to climate change. If we fail to seize these opportunities, others will do so.
We are a nation of entrepreneurs, and today’s energy entrepreneurs — just like the energy entrepreneurs of a century ago — need encouragement and support. Without it, we ultimately will be buying from others what they should be buying from us. A significant number of the world’s most respected economists believe that renewable energy will be one of the most dynamic and profitable sectors of the global economy in the next 100 years. Nations that provide either mandates or private-sector incentives to develop and commercialize renewable energy technologies through tax credits, loans and innovation funding will have a significant economic advantage over those that do not.
s Gina McCarthy spoke for a second straight year at one of the world’s top energy gatherings, the U.S. EPA administrator defended a plan to cut carbon dioxide emissions and told the power industry to focus on its ability to innovate. McCarthy made a point at IHS CERAWeek here to outline the thinking behind EPA’s Clean Power Plan, saying a low-carbon future is an “inevitability.” She dismissed “doomsday” scenarios she said won’t happen because of the plan, which aims to use Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act to seek carbon emissions reductions from power plants.