News

Wind energy’s top lobbyist navigates political crosswinds

Source: By Zack Colman, The Hill • Posted: Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

Though her résumé says otherwise, Denise Bode has been lobbying Congress since she was 13. It started when Bode, now the American Wind Energy Association’s top lobbyist, visited Washington with her Bartlesville, Okla., Young Democrats chapter. That’s when she learned girls could not be pages in the House or Senate. Upon returning to Bartlesville, she commissioned her father to help write a petition to change those rules.

The Tesla Electric Car Was a Risky Venture. Now the Risk Is Paying Off

Source: By Antony Currie. Reuters • Posted: Monday, November 26th, 2012

Tesla’s risky vision for the car of the future is putting Detroit to shame. The Silicon Valley-based electric carmaker run by Elon Musk is racking up some prestigious awards for its new sedan. On Monday, Motor Trend became the third respected industry publication to bestow the Model S with a 2013 Car of the Year gong. That’s better than Motown, European or Japanese manufacturers managed.

Iowa scientists warn of need for climate change action

Source: By Kay Henderson, Reuters • Posted: Monday, November 26th, 2012

“Weather varies too much and has too many drivers to attribute any particular event to a single cause like climate change, but there is a clear pattern of crop loss and property damage from increasingly frequent events such as flooding, drought and dangerous storms,” said Dave Courard-Hauri, chairman of Drake University’s Environmental Science and Policy Program, at a press briefing. “We don’t face a choice between our economy and the planet. The choice is between addressing the causes and effects of climate change or spending ever more money cleaning up from events like we’ve seen in the past several years,” he said.

Balance of power shifts in several state legislatures, forcing enviros and industry to shift course

Source: Jennifer Yachnin, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

In coming weeks, state policymakers, environmental advocates and energy industry representatives will realign their priorities as state legislatures convene for new sessions, but particularly in those nine states — Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon and Wisconsin — where the balance of power shifted in state House or Senate chambers, or both.

Texas sets record, getting 26% of its power from wind

Source: Nathanial Gronewold, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

Texas has hit a wind power record, the state’s grid manager reported last week. The growth of the wind sector has stalled lately as developers wait to see whether Congress will renew the production tax credits that attract investment in wind energy nationally. Texas is still home to the nation’s largest wind power industry and is a major manufacturer of wind equipment, and supporters are hoping state leaders will encourage Washington to act on the tax credit extensions.

Obama on Climate Policy: Not Just Now, Thanks

Source: By JOHN M. BRODER, New York Times • Posted: Monday, November 19th, 2012

Environmental advocates have expressed frustration with the lack of discussion of climate change in the presidential race this year, a reticence that persisted even after the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. On Wednesday, in his first post-election news conference, President Obama offered his most extensive remarks on climate change in months. They did not particularly thrill environmentalists.

New group led by key GOP strategist forms to push PTC extension

Source: Hannah Northey and Nick Juliano, E&E reporters • Posted: Monday, November 19th, 2012

The push to extend a key wind industry tax break maintains solid bipartisan support in Congress, and a new group launched this week wants to make sure it stays that way. John Feehery, a Republican strategist and former spokesman for House Speaker Dennis Hastert (Ill.) and Majority Whip Tom DeLay (Texas), is leading the new organization, which aims to reinforce the arguments of Republicans who support an extension of the wind production tax credit and to win more GOP lawmakers to the cause.

Within 5 years, GM will ramp up EV production to 500,000 cars a year

Source: Ben Klayman, Reuters • Posted: Friday, November 16th, 2012

By 2017, General Motors Co. plans to build as many as 500,000 electric vehicles a year, according to a company executive. GM global product development chief Mary Barra told reporters the company has prioritized producing cars with some form of electrical power. The number it’s shooting for would be equivalent to more than 5 percent of GM’s total global sales last year of about 9 million.

Wind could supply up to 12% of global electricity by 2020, study says

Source: Special to E&E • Posted: Friday, November 16th, 2012

Wind power could supply up to 12 percent of global electricity by 2020 and more than 20 percent by 2030, a new study by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) and Greenpeace shows. Wind energy installations totaled 240 gigawatts globally by the end of 2011, and the industry is set to grow by at least another 40 GW this year, the study says. By 2020, under the scenario put forth by the International Energy Agency, total capacity would reach 587 GW, supplying about 6 percent of global electricity.

Google’s investment in Iowa wind farm renews call for support of tax credit

Source: Written by Donnelle Eller, Des Moines Register • Posted: Friday, November 16th, 2012

Google is investing $75 million in a central Iowa wind farm that produces enough electricity to power 15,000 homes. It’s the California tech giant’s first investment in an Iowa wind generation project. Tuesday’s announcement sparked renewed support from political leaders to fight for extending tax credits for the wind industry, ranging from Sue Dvorsky, chairwoman of the Iowa Democratic Party, who called for bipartisan support, to U.S Rep. Tom Latham, R-Ia., who is “encouraged that Google recognizes the pivotal role that wind plays in securing securing energy independence.”