The New Jersey Board of Utilities again opted to oppose construction of a pilot offshore wind project in waters near Atlantic City on Friday, saying the electricity produced will be too expensive, despite the millions in federal funding the project was awarded this spring. “The project does not provide a net economic and environmental benefit to New Jersey ratepayers,” the BPU wrote in a document outlining its decision.
The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a confirmation hearing for Colette Honorable, President Obama’s nominee to join the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, on Dec. 4. Honorable’s confirmation was put on hold in September because of the sudden death of her husband, but Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), the panel’s chairwoman, said she wanted to push forward with a confirmation hearing.
The wind industry is citing results from a poll it commissioned to argue voters want Congress to extend the production tax credit before the end of this year as opponents continue to argue the incentive is too costly. The American Wind Energy Association-commissioned poll found 73 percent of registered voters, including 63 percent of Republicans, said they would support “keeping the Production Tax Credit in place so that investment in wind energy can continue.” It also found that 79 percent of registered voters agreed with the statement “incentives for investment in wind energy help American workers make more of our own energy right here in America.”
In general, the package will temporarily extend through the end of next year the more than 50 tax breaks collectively known as extenders that were included in a Finance Committee package, S. 2260, earlier this year. About 10 of the tax breaks that had been temporary will become permanent, including the research and development tax credit, and the PTC will be phased out, sources tracking the process said. A tax break for transit riders also could become permanent in the package, while several other energy-related breaks are likely to get temporary extensions. However, the White House signaled its strong opposition to the reported $450 billion package soon after details began emerging this afternoon.
With negotiators nearing an accord on permanent tax breaks for businesses worth $440 billion over 10 years, President Obama rallied Democratic opposition on Tuesday and promised a veto. The president would veto the proposed deal because it would provide permanent tax breaks to help well-connected corporations while neglecting working families,” said Jennifer Friedman, a White House spokeswoman.The deal, negotiated by House Republicans and aides to Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the outgoing majority leader, showed how much power has shifted since the Republican election victories this month. The negotiations fractured Democrats, and separated the Obama administration from Mr. Reid.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is working on a proposed rule that would ensure that two important segments of the nation’s energy sector — the electric and gas industries — are aligned. FERC’s proposed rule, part of a series of orders, would revise the agency’s current regulations to better coordinate the schedule of gas and power markets, a needed step in light of the country’s growing dependence on natural gas.
The Interior Department today announced it will hold an auction Jan. 29 of 742,000 acres of federal waters off Massachusetts for commercial wind development, the agency’s largest competitive lease sale to date. The Massachusetts wind energy area could support up to 5,000 megawatts of wind generation, according to scientists at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colo. A dozen companies have qualified to take part in the online auction, which will consider both monetary and nonmonetary factors — such as community benefit or power purchase agreements — to determine a winner
The conservative Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is publishing advertisements pushing individual Republicans to oppose tax credits for wind energy. The ads launched Monday in the hometown newspapers of 15 GOP representatives in eight states who have not given clear positions on the wind energy production tax credit since it expired at the end of last year.
Two conservative groups announced today they will continue urging lawmakers to end a key renewable energy tax credit through print and online advertisements and other efforts to mobilize activists in their home states. Americans for Prosperity launched an eight-state print advertising campaign, while the American Energy Alliance said it will be spending six figures targeting nine states with online and social media ads, among other efforts.
During the past decade, around $8 billion has been invested in the state’s wind energy industry. Wind energy generation in Kansas increased at nearly double the national average during 2013. The state’s existing wind projects are featured on a new list in this week’s paper. Wind potential in Kansas is estimated to be 952,371 megawatts, making it the second-best wind resource in the country, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Such potential is capable of meeting more than 90 times the state’s current electricity needs.