A bipartisan handful of governors will join Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) at a Tuesday Capitol Hill press conference urging Congress to extend the tax credit that the wind industry calls vital. The wind production tax credit is one of the hot-button energy issues for the lame-duck session. Scheduled to expire Dec. 31, it credits wind power producers 2.2 cents for every kilowatt-hour.
Officials with the Cape Wind offshore wind project planned for Massachusetts have met with port officials in Rhode Island, and a project spokesman told The Associated Press on Friday that it’s an “open question” whether a terminal planned for New Bedford will be ready to use as the wind farm’s construction staging area. The project is expected to bring hundreds of jobs to an area that desperately needs them. Rhode Island has the second-highest unemployment rate in the country and New Bedford, just over the Rhode Island border, is in one of the most economically depressed areas of Massachusetts.
Sens. David Vitter (R-La.) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today asked the Interior Department to estimate the fiscal trade-offs of leasing waters off the Delaware coast for wind power instead of oil and gas development.
In a letter to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, the senators also asked what the agency plans to charge NRG Bluewater Wind Delaware LLC for generating electricity on a lease it announced late last month
Two GOP senators are accusing the Interior Department of playing favorites by offering Atlantic waters for wind farms but not oil and gas development. At issue is a lease for developing commercial wind power in federal waters off the Delaware coast. The area in question is off limits to oil-and-gas drillers in President Obama’s five-year offshore drilling plan.
In his first White House speech since winning re-election, President Obama on Friday called on Congress to get to work on addressing the looming fiscal cliff and took some time to praise clean energy development as an important tool for growing the economy.
President Obama’s re-election all but ensures the reinstatement of the production tax credit that benefits the U.S. wind industry, the chief executive officer of Vestas Wind Systems A/S said yesterday. But employees at the Danish company won’t have much to cheer about, as the world’s largest wind turbine manufacturer announced it would cut an additional 3,000 jobs by the end of next year on top of the 3,700 it already eliminated this year.
The 2012 election, especially President Obama’s victory, suggests the nation’s energy and environmental agenda will largely continue in the same direction — not great news for many Romney supporters. Perhaps, but the 2012 elections and especially President Obama’s victory suggest the nation’s energy and environmental agenda will largely continue in the same direction — not great news for backers of GOP Gov. Mitt Romney.
“This election was supposed to be about wealthy Big Oil-backed special interests spending unprecedented resources to wipe pro-environment candidates off the map,” said Gene Karpinski, president of the League of Conservation Voters. “But voters chose a different course.”
California voters Tuesday passed a ballot measure that would generate as much as $2.75 billion for clean energy projects and rejected one that would have hobbled a green power ally. With 81 percent of ballots counted, the Golden State by a vote of 60 to 40 percent approved Proposition 39, which changes how multi-state businesses are taxed. It is expected to generate $1.1 billion annually in new revenue, money for the general fund and green energy.
Energy policy observers agree that one Cabinet member is almost sure to leave: Energy Secretary Steven Chu. While commended for some advances — such as the agency’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy — Chu has faced criticism on nearly everything in the Energy Department’s portfolio.