Soon after President Obama announced the goal of converting 80 percent of America’s electricity generation to “clean” sources in his 2011 State of the Union address, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Jeff Bingaman started working to translate the idea into legislation. Bingaman’s “Clean Energy Standard Act” was introduced earlier this year and has been analyzed by the administration’s energy number-crunchers; this week brings the next step when the New Mexico Democrat convenes the first hearing on the proposa
Oil majors have become the biggest investor in the clean fuels industry, sinking $71 billion into low- and no-emission and renewable energy technologies over the last decade, according to a report from the American Petroleum Institute. By contrast, the U.S. government has spent about $43 billion on its low-carbon energy efforts over the same time period, the report says.
Two liberal lawmakers today unveiled what one called the “most comprehensive” bill to eliminate government support for oil, natural gas and coal production, aiming to slash more than $113 billion in tax incentives, research and development spending, and other funding for those industries over the next decade. Two counterparts from the other side of the aisle panned the effort while pointing to a separate bill they have been pushing for months that would narrowly target two little-used fossil fuel tax benefits while taking the hatchet to a broad array of tax supports for renewable energy.
One of the chief architects of an ultimately failed attempt to move climate change legislation through the Senate during the last Congress is mulling a less ambitious approach that may have a chance of passing during a lame-duck session.
Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) has met regularly with interested lawmakers most Tuesdays to discuss the next steps for energy policy in a post-cap-and-trade environment, and he said they may be ready to unveil a product of those discussions later this year.
Customer backlash over new technology for measuring power usage is slowing utilities’ efforts to upgrade their networks.
If history is any guide, President Obama’s Cabinet is in line to lose at least one of its top energy and environmental members should he win a second term this fall.
Another day, another squabble about a right-leaning policy memo. This time the disputed document is a 10-page strategy memo appearing to detail an expensive and ambitious campaign targeting the wind energy industry. The memo, circulated by the watchdog group the Checks and Balances Project, calls for opponents of wind power to engage in messaging and media outreach efforts that “appear as a ‘groundswell’ among grass roots.”
Acciona, a big renewable energy company based in Spain, says it is naming its new 32-megawatt wind farm in Oklahoma “Big Smile.” The name is an oblique reference to an Acciona employee who died last year, the company says. That makes the wind farm one of the few in the United States not named for its location or a nearby geographic feature. Google lists 102 operating wind farms of 120 megawatts or more in this country, plus two under construction and 24 proposed, none of which are named after anyone, although some bear the name of a town that was named after a person long ago.
The Bureau of Land Management is nearing approval of what would become Arizona’s largest wind farm, covering nearly 50,000 acres of federal land, that supporters say could spark more commercial-scale wind power development. Houston-based BP Wind Energy North America Inc.’s proposed 500-megawatt Mohave County Wind Farm in northwest Arizona would string together as many as 283 wind turbines across nearly 39,000 acres of BLM land and nearly 9,000 acres of Bureau of Reclamation land. The wind farm would have the capacity to produce enough electricity to power as many as 175,000 homes in Arizona, Nevada and California.
President Obama will call on Congress today to extend a crucial tax credit for the wind industry, as part of a broader “To Do List” that will provide the foundation for Obama’s message on job creation in the coming months. The list — which Obama officially will unveil today in a speech at 1:25 p.m. — consists of five actions that the White House contends “will create jobs and help restore middle class security.” None of the proposals are new, but they come as Republicans and the White House spar over job creation during an election year.