Congress is returning to Washington, and the partisan rancor that defined Capitol Hill in 2011 is likely to remain — or get even worse — in 2012. Republicans still run the House. Democrats continue to cling to a slim majority in the Senate. President Obama seems determined to keep his distance from both chambers. And it’s an election year — what are the odds of anything getting done this year?
Vestas Wind Systems A/S said Thursday it will shed more than 2,300 jobs, or 10% of its work force, close one of its 26 factories and reshuffle management in a cost-cutting plan as it grapples with industry overcapacity.
The world’s largest wind-turbine manufacturer also warned that if U.S. lawmakers fail to extend a renewable-energy subsidy, known as the production tax credit, which expires by the end of 2012, it could lead to the layoff of an additional 1,600 workers in the U.S. Vestas will start preparing for a possible scale-down of U.S. operations later this year, it said.
The boom-and-bust cycle of the renewable energy sector was on display Thursday. Broadwind Energy Inc. said Thursday it was awarded a $23 million order for wind turbine towers that will be made in Manitowoc.
U.S. Rep. Tom Latham, R-Ia., suggested Thursday that natural gas interests have helped block renewal of a tax credit for wind producers. “They’re pushing hard against wind, of course,” Latham said at a state Capitol event highlighting Iowa’s wind energy industry.
U.S. EPA today rolled out a new database that will allow the public to track greenhouse gas emissions across a variety of U.S. sources, including power plants, refineries and manufacturers.
Vestas Wind Systems A/S (VWS), the world’s biggest wind turbine maker, said it will cut 2,335 jobs amounting to 10 percent of its staff as it tries to become more competitive with Chinese suppliers. The changes are aimed at saving more than 150 million euros ($191 million) by the end of 2012, the company based in Aarhus, Denmark, said in a statement today. Vestas said another 1,600 posts in the U.S. are at risk as a tax credit supporting the industry expires.
Vestas A/S, the world’s biggest maker of wind turbines in terms of revenues, said Thursday it will lay off around 2,300 employees, mainly in Denmark, because of a market downturn caused by the financial crisis. The company, headquartered in Aarhus, Denmark, said a potential slowdown in the United States could also result in the layoff of an additional 1,600 employees there.
President Obama this afternoon repeatedly emphasized the economic benefits that can be achieved through safeguarding the environment in a brief appearance to thank employees for their work at U.S. EPA headquarters in Washington, D.C. “I do not buy the notion that we have to make a choice between having clean air and clean water and growing this economy in a robust way,” Obama said. “I think that is a false debate.”
President Obama, who has been both applauded and jeered for his record on environmental issues, paid a brief visit to the headquarters of the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington on Tuesday to try to raise spirits at an agency that has been under siege for the past year
Gov. Chris Christie on Monday vetoed a measure that would allow wind turbine development on farmland preserved under a state program designed to protect New Jersey’s agricultural enterprises.