AWEA hires Carper chief of staff to lobby

Source: Nick Juliano, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

The American Wind Energy Association has hired a senior aide to Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) as its newest lobbyist, the group announced yesterday. James Reilly, who has been Carper’s chief of staff since 2007, is joining AWEA to become senior vice president for federal legislative affairs, where he will oversee lobbying Capitol Hill, grass-roots activism and the group’s political action committee. The industry’s top federal policy goal this year is securing a renewal of the production tax credit (PTC), which expired at the end of last year. A two-year extension was included in a tax extenders bill passed by the Senate Finance Committee last week, but its prospects in the full Senate and House remain unclear

McCarthy says power plant rule will be flexible but require results

Source: Jean Chemnick, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

U.S. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy today said the power plant climate rule now being reviewed by the White House will give states broad latitude to determine how to bring down their carbon dioxide emissions, but that it will require provable emissions reductions. Speaking at a forum hosted by the Bipartisan Policy Center, McCarthy said her agency’s proposed guidance for existing power plants will take full advantage of the flexibility provided by the Clean Air Act to let states craft their own implementation plans. It will allow states to comply using existing policies, she added.

Wyden aims for energy parity in overhaul to ‘rotting’ tax code

Source: Nick Juliano, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

Referring to the current tax code as a “rotting carcass that smells worse every year,” Wyden reiterated his commitment to comprehensive tax reform. One target of that effort will be addressing master limited partnerships (MLP), which have allowed fossil fuel companies to reduce their tax bills since the 1980s. The same break has not been available for renewable energy sources such as wind, solar or geothermal, but that needs to change, the chairman told the Bloomberg New Energy Summit in New York, according to a recording of his remarks.

Grid improvements help powerful storm electrify the Southwest

Source: Daniel Cusick, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, April 7th, 2014

Wind energy production in Texas and adjacent states Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska set one-day records last month. Turbines generated nearly 10,300 megawatts of electricity across the Electric Reliability Council of Texas’ (ERCOT) grid March 26, just six days after wind farms in the neighboring Southwest Power Pool set a similar one-day record with 7,202 MW of generation.

Ohio Senate Bill 310 would allow unchecked authority to the utilities: Jereme Kent

Source: Jereme Kent, general manager of One Energy LLC and guest columnist, Cleveland Plain Dealer • Posted: Monday, April 7th, 2014

Senate Bill 310 would freeze the renewable portfolio standards and energy efficiency portfolio standards in place. This would be the first time in any state, anywhere in the entire United States, that a renewable portfolio standard would be reduced, frozen or repealed.

Wind Power Has Cut U.S. Carbon Dioxide Emissions By 4.4 Percent: Report

Source: Kate Sheppard, Huffington Post, • Posted: Monday, April 7th, 2014

The growth of wind power in the United States is putting a significant dent in emissions, according to a forthcoming report from the American Wind Energy Association. Wind generation avoided 95.6 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2013, which is equivalent to taking 16.9 million cars off the road. That’s a 4.4 percent cut to power sector emissions, when compared to the level of emissions that would have been generated if that power had come from fossil fuels. Wind proponents say that’s evidence that the wind industry is playing a major role in meeting U.S. emissions goals. “Every time a megawatt of wind power is generated, something else is not generated,” said Elizabeth Salerno, AWEA’s vice president for industry data and analysis.

U.S. wind energy output breaks records, thanks to transmission upgrades and new wind development

Source: American Wind Energy Association • Posted: Monday, April 7th, 2014

Wind energy is breaking records across the U.S., thanks to long-needed transmission upgrades that are relieving congestion on the power grid and allowing more clean energy to reach consumers. Last week, a new record was set on the main Texas grid, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), reaching over 10,000 MW of wind. This was the most ever for a U.S. power system, the equivalent of powering more than five million average Texas homes.

Lawmakers seek wind energy development in Nebraska

Source: Associated Press • Posted: Sunday, April 6th, 2014

An effort to encourage more wind energy development in Nebraska hit a roadblock this session, but some Nebraska lawmakers are determined to capitalize on the state’s wind potential. Despite Nebraska’s strong potential for wind, the state has had difficulty getting major wind development because of a lack of significant tax incentives and the public power structure with a mandate for low-cost energy.

Poll shows majority of Americans support alternative energy over fossil fuels

Source: Daniel Bush, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, April 4th, 2014

A majority of Americans favor alternative energy over fossil fuels and support energy conservation policies, a new poll shows. According to a Gallup poll released yesterday, 64 percent of Americans prefer wind, solar and other alternative energy sources over oil, coal and gas — a 5 percent increase from 2013.

With extenders package through committee, Wyden sees ‘springboard’ to reform

Source: Nick Juliano, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, April 4th, 2014

The Finance Committee this afternoon wrapped up what its chairman hopes will be the last session it will convene on the tangle of technically temporary but regularly renewed tax incentives collectively known as extenders. Now, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) is encouraged that this exercise will provide a “springboard” to consider a full overhaul of the tax code in the next couple of years. However, he first needs the extenders bill to make it through the full Senate and House, where it is likely to encounter more resistance than during this afternoon’s markup, which ended with a nearly unanimous voice vote in favor of renewing the 50 expired or expiring extenders.