Bipartisan bill expanding MLP access to be reintroduced this week

Source: Nick Juliano, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, April 22nd, 2013

A bipartisan group of senators this week will resume its efforts to allow clean energy companies to take advantage of favorable tax rules that have benefited the fossil fuel industry for decades. Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) on Wednesday will reintroduce the “Master Limited Partnerships Parity Act” with co-sponsors Sens. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), an aide said yesterday. Moran co-sponsored the bill last year. Murkowski is the top Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and Stabenow chairs a Finance Committee subpanel focused on energy tax issues.

Maine Governor Spins Windmill Conspiracy Theory

Source: by Mike Tipping, Bangor Daily News • Posted: Friday, April 19th, 2013

Governor LePage has a habit of using false anecdotes to back up his policy positions. It started during his campaign and has continued throughout his time in office. He routinely makes up regulations that don’t exist, conversations that never happened and discriminatory practices that have never occurred. LePage has repeated some of these claims even after they have been proven to be false. What these lies have in common is that they all seem designed to highlight some extreme example of what LePage sees as wrong with the world and justify his policy prescriptions. If any of them were true, they would be very compelling.

FERC accepts N.Y., Calif. transmission proposals

Source: Hannah Northey, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, April 19th, 2013

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission today conditionally approved plans that grid operators in New York and California submitted to comply with the agency’s sweeping new transmission planning policies. But the agency exempted two smaller companies that operate relatively few power lines from the rules.

Walmart’s CEO doubles down on the company’s aggressive bet on renewable energy

Source: Daniel Cusick, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, April 19th, 2013

To every environmentalist who ever bad-mouthed Walmart for its big-box blandness and gigantic impervious parking lots, here’s some news: The retail behemoth is throwing its full economic muscle behind energy sustainability. Local utilities that don’t get on board with Walmart’s green energy programs could be left behind like an old, worn-out shopping center.

RES Begins Building Wind Farm in Kansas Owned by GE and Enel

Source: By Andrew Herndon, Bloomberg • Posted: Friday, April 19th, 2013

RES Americas Inc., a unit of the U.K.’s Renewable Energy Systems Ltd., started construction on a 250-megawatt wind farm in Kansas that’s owned by units of General Electric Co. (GE) and Italian utility Enel SpA. (ENEL) The Buffalo Dunes project southwest of Garden City, Kansas, will use 135 GE wind turbines, Broomfield Colorado-based RES Americas said today in a statement. Southern Co. (SO)’s Alabama Power utility has agreed to buy “most of the electricity” for 20 years, RES said.

Vestas, GE Lead Wind-Turbine Market as U.S. Installations Surge

Source: By Sally Bakewell - Apr 18, 2013 4:00 AM CT, Bloomberg • Posted: Thursday, April 18th, 2013

General Electric Co. (GE) tied with Vestas Wind Systems A/S (VWS) as the biggest turbine maker with less than 50 megawatts between them, unsettling the Danish maker’s 12-year hold on the title, Bloomberg New Energy Finance said.

In Wisconsin, politics continue to hold back wind development

Source: by Erik Ness, Midwest Energy News • Posted: Thursday, April 18th, 2013

More than two years after Wisconsin completed a bipartisan process to establish statewide standards for siting wind turbines, development remains sluggish amid continuing political pushback. In 2012, a year that saw a nationwide surge in wind farm installations as developers rushed to beat expiring tax credits, Wisconsin added only 18 megawatts of capacity. By comparison, Michigan and Ohio, with much lower wind potential, had already installed 138 MW and 308 MW in just the first three quarters.

More research needed to determine whether overlapping subsidies actually waste money — GAO

Source: Nick Juliano, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

A recent report on duplicative federal programs supporting the wind industry did not reach any conclusion on which, if any, of those programs wasted the government’s money — and more research is needed to answer that question for wind along with numerous other federal programs that support different energy sectors, the author of the report told a House hearing yesterday. The Government Accountability Office last month studied a variety of incentives available to the wind industry and found that some programs overlap, allowing companies to “double dip” and benefit from several programs at once. But the report did not conclude that such overlap was necessarily wasteful.

Bill moves on to up renewable energy usage for co-ops

Source: By Mark Jaffe, The Denver Post • Posted: Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

The Colorado Senate — over the strong objections of rural Republican lawmakers — passed a bill Monday increasing the amount of renewable energy that rural electricity cooperatives must use. The bill, SB-252, requires that 25 percent of the co-ops’ electricity come from renewable sources by 2020, up from the 10 percent standard set in 2007.

Once indispensable to powerful pols, FERC commissioner navigates power politics

Source: Hannah Northey, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

John Norris spent more than three decades running high-profile political campaigns in his home state of Iowa — and once ran for Congress himself. But these days, as a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, he’s more interested in the wonky world of transmission and pipeline policy than maneuvering tricky political battlefields.