Standing in front of a large metal framework for what will become the base of a transmission line structure near Clear Lake, 37 miles north of Brookings, South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard and others applauded the project. They called it a successful example of teamwork between two companies: Xcel Energy and Otter Tail Power Co. Daugaard also said it could be the first of many energy projects built to utilize the state’s wind power. He called on legislators, landowners and energy companies to clear the way for expansion in the field. “By the time this is done I expect major things to be happening in wind in South Dakota,” Daugaard said, referring to the project.
This Capx 2020 project is billed as a game changer for South Dakota energy. Wind energy production here has been somewhat stalled because we have lacked the type of high voltage energy power lines to move electricty from turbines to the people who need it. “We could become a big producer of wind energy but we gotta be able to move it.” South Dakota Senator John Thune says adding these types of lines puts South Dakota in line to produce more energy which means more jobs. “So having these types of transmission lines built is just absolutely critical.”
But as members of the House debate whether to end the tax credits, the governors of Washington and Iowa have reached out to senators in an effort to undo a proposed funding cut to the Department of Energy’s wind energy research. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, and Republican Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad co-signed a letter sent Tuesday to Sens. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., and Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., urging them to reconsider cuts to wind energy and research to the tune of $61 million. The Senate Appropriations Committee approved that cut in May. The governors, who are the the chair and vice chair of the Governors Wind Energy Coalition, wrote that the cut singles out wind energy in an unfair way.
Govs. Jay Inslee, D-Wash. and Terry Branstad, R-Iowa, sent a letter on behalf of the Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition calling on the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee to reverse its decision to hamper long-term investment in research advancing American wind power. “The nation’s long-term investment in research conducted by the Department of Energy’s (DOE) energy programs, National Laboratories, our state universities, and private companies around the nation has helped fuel the extraordinary growth of the nation’s wind energy industry,” the letter states. “As governors, we see the benefits this innovative research has brought to our states, including energy diversification and continual wealth generation in rural America.”
The House Ways and Means Committee will mark up a tax extenders package today that doesn’t include renewable energy tax credits, marking a contrast to a Senate tax bill moving through the upper chamber that would provide subsidies for wind and solar power. The committee is set to advance a series of bills this morning that would permanently extend a handful of tax incentives slated to expire at the end of the year, including a measure known as bonus depreciation that would allow companies to speed up the tax write-off process for certain business expenses
Key Republicans said yesterday they expect the Senate will wait until the House passes a continuing resolution before scheduling a vote in the upper chamber. House Republican leaders are expected to set up votes this week on abortion-related bills in an effort to mollify conservatives who are vowing to oppose any spending measures that fund Planned Parenthood, which sparked outrage after a series of videos surfaced showing its members allegedly trying to sell aborted fetal tissue for research.
Vice President Joe Biden is expected to announce plans to invest more than $120 million in solar power during a renewable energy conference in Anaheim, Calif., today. According to the White House, Biden will tout the administration’s plans to funnel the cash into solar projects in states across the country when he speaks at the Solar Power International conference this afternoon.
President Obama’s top climate change negotiator will meet with his Chinese counterpart in Los Angeles on Tuesday to announce joint actions by cities, states and provinces in both countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The summit meeting follows a historic accord reached in Beijing in November by Mr. Obama and President Xi Jinping, who pledged to enact policies to cut emissions significantly. Mr. Obama said the United States would reduce planet-warming carbon emissions up to 28 percent by 2025, while Mr. Xi vowed that China would halt its emissions growth by 2030.
Oil and gas industry groups and conservative organizations are urging House lawmakers not to renew an expired wind energy tax credit when the lower chamber takes up its tax extenders package later this year. In a letter to Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), four right-leaning groups — including the Koch brothers-backed organization Americans for Prosperity — urged the House not to revive the wind energy production tax credit that expired at the end of last year. Heritage Action for America, the American Energy Alliance and the Club for Growth also signed onto the letter.
Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington and Republican Gov. Terry Branstad of Iowa sent a letter today on behalf of the Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition calling on the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee to reverse its decision to hamper long-term investment in research advancing American wind power.“The nation’s long-term investment in research conducted by DOE’s energy programs, National Laboratories, our state universities, and private companies around the nation has helped fuel the extraordinary growth of the nation’s wind energy industry,” the letter states. “As governors, we see the benefits this innovative research has brought to our states, including energy diversification and continual wealth generation in rural America.”