Kansas utility regulators voted yesterday to begin an investigation into what U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan will mean for utility rates in the state and the reliability of the electric grid. The order by the Kansas Corporation Commission is based on a recommendation by commission staff and will focus on examining generation redispatch options that enable the state to comply with the rule while maintaining reliable, least-cost electric service.
A company has announced that it plans to create three wind farms in southeastern Nebraska. The Lincoln Journal Star reports that Aksamit Resource Management’s projects represent a $725 million investment in Saline, Thayer and Fillmore Counties. The projects include a 300-megawatt site that will have 150 turbines spread out over 30,000 acres in Saline and Fillmore Counties and a 76-megawatt project that will have 40 turbines on 8,000 acres in Thayer County. Those two projects are scheduled to be operational in 2019.
Energy: The deal could extend the Wind Production Tax Credit and the Solar Investment Tax Credit for five years with a phase out. But the RSC wants to let the credits phase out as scheduled. The wind credit expired at the end of 2014, and the solar credit is set to expire in 2016.
Congress could be close to phasing out the tax credits that have, for years, supported the booming wind and solar energy industries. Tax writing committees in the House and Senate are working to introduce and pass a package of tax breaks before the end of the year to extend or renew a number of incentives like those for low-income housing, scientific research and small businesses.
Lawmakers return to the Capitol today with just five days left to avoid a government shutdown, as negotiations proceed on an omnibus spending bill and a tax package. Discussions stretched out over the weekend, but congressional aides gave no signs of a breakthrough on either appropriations or the tax extenders package. House Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers (R-Ky.) told reporters last week he hoped to unveil the omnibus today. “Negotiations continue,” Rogers spokeswoman Jennifer Hing said in an email last night. “It is expected that there will be an agreement this week.”
A Q&A with Pennsylvania official who hopes to be among the first to comply with the Clean Power Plan
John Quigley is secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. Under Gov. Tom Wolf (D), Quigley will craft Pennsylvania’s compliance path for the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, a sweeping regulation to reduce U.S. carbon emissions from the power sector 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. Under the Clean Power Plan, U.S. EPA is requiring Pennsylvania to lower its emissions rate from power plants by 33 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. Pennsylvania’s plan will have repercussions beyond the state’s borders. It is the top electricity exporter in the United States, according to DEP, and also is a major producer of both coal and natural gas.
Republican and Democratic negotiators closed in Friday on a major package of tax cuts for businesses and individuals that could exceed $700 billion in forgone revenues over a decade, and planned to work through the weekend in hopes that Congress can approve it before quitting for the year. The package would extend or make permanent around 50 temporary tax breaks that have expired or will soon lapse. By combining business breaks that are priorities of Republicans with tax credits for lower-income workers and families that are critical to Democrats, negotiators are seeking a balanced package that could transcend the partisanship that often paralyzes Congress.
“He clearly had a vision for the power company of the future, and wanted NRG to be that company, and took real steps toward that,” said Shayle Kann, who leads GTM Research, which focuses on clean energy industries. “And then Wall Street didn’t get convinced.”
A carbon tax proposal appears to have collected enough signatures to qualify for the ballot in Washington state in 2016. The proposed carbon tax would be used to lower other taxes.
Climate activists said they have gathered enough signatures to send the proposal to Washington’s Legislature and then to the 2016 ballot if lawmakers fail to enact the plan. Lawmakers failed to pass a cap-and-trade bill promoted by Gov. Jay Inslee (D) earlier this year
Just recently, we heard the excellent news that the PTC Elimination Act, a bill introduced by Reps. Kenny Marchant (R-Texas) and Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.), passed the 50 cosponsors mark. It is welcome news that opposition to the PTC continues to grow as evidenced by the tremendous amount of support that the bill has garnered in a short time. In the Senate, Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) has introduced a similar measure that would set a termination date for the PTC. This is all cause for applause, and further highlights the growing number of legislators that will not stand by as another extension is put on the table – especially at the expense of their constituents.