Letter to the Editor: Wind energy receives fewer tax credits

Source: By Rob Gramlich, Washington, D.C., Letter to the Editor, Des Moines Register • Posted: Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

Contrary to the claims of Thomas Pyle [“As taxman cometh, wind producers get a windfall,” April 14], whose group is funded by the fossil fuel billionaire Koch brothers, wind has received far less in tax credits and other government support than other energy sources. Its primary federal incentive, the Production Tax Credit, has been successful in attracting more than $100 billion to the U.S. economy since 2008 and increasing the amount of electricity provided by clean, affordable wind power.

Lawmaker drops bill to expand FERC’s ability to site power lines 

Source: Hannah Northey and Emily Holden, E&E reporters • Posted: Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

Sen. Martin Heinrich unveiled legislation today that would give the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission the ability to override a state’s opposition to specific power lines. The New Mexico Democrat’s bill would amend the Federal Power Act to give FERC the authority to approve a project if a state fails to greenlight construction or routing of the projects within a year of a company’s seeking the state’s approval. FERC’s authority may also apply if the state denies the project or doesn’t have the authority to approve the transmission line, or if approval is accompanied by contingencies that “unreasonably interfere” with construction.

Delay needed for states to comply with Clean Power Plan — NERC 

Source: Hannah Northey, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

The grid’s federally appointed monitor said today that parts of the industry need more time to comply with U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan, but its latest analysis was unable to quantify how much delay is required. The North American Electric Reliability Corp., the federally designated grid reliability overseer, in an assessment of EPA’s landmark proposal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants said the agency needs to make changes to its final rule to coordinate and adjust to an accelerated shift to natural gas and renewables and account for long lead times needed to build new generation, pipes and wires.

New England governors meet to discuss energy issues

Source: By DAVE SOLOMON, New Hampshire Union Leader • Posted: Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

“The cost of energy in our region is a major issue that our states need to address in a collaborative way,” Malloy said. “At this meeting, the governors will renew and strengthen our commitment to working together to put solutions to this challenge in place.” The agenda includes the lack of pipeline capacity to bring natural gas to power plants, growing concerns about reliability, and the challenge of integrating power from renewable energy sources into the grid, Malloy said.

QER could help lawmakers aiming to pass broad bill 

Source: Nick Juliano, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

“While we share our differences with this administration regarding energy policy, when it comes to the transmission, storage, and distribution of our resources, we can all agree that targeted changes to our laws and policies are necessary. We need a modern and resilient energy infrastructure that will meet tomorrow’s energy challenges,” Upton and Whitfield said.

Obama admin touts multi-year roadmap 

Source: Nick Juliano, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

White House officials touted the Quadrennial Energy Review, which focuses on the energy industry’s infrastructure needs, as a two-pronged tool. First, it assesses the effect of recent developments such as the advent of hydraulic fracturing, which sparked the domestic boom in oil and natural gas production, and the decreasing costs of renewable energy technologies such as solar and wind, whose deployment has more than tripled since President Obama came into office.

Obama Administration Sets Agenda to Modernize Energy Infrastructure

Source: By Valerie Volcovici and Timothy Gardner, REUTERS • Posted: Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

The Obama administration on Tuesday laid out an agenda under its Quadrennial Energy Review to modernize the country’s energy infrastructure and make it more resilient to challenges ranging from extreme weather to the domestic energy boom. Commissioned by President Barack Obama when he announced his Climate Action Plan in June 2013, the QER was more than a year in the making and is the administration’s first comprehensive attempt to analyze the country’s aging energy systems.

Biden Visits Philadelphia to Highlight Energy Plan

Source: By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS • Posted: Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

Vice President Joe Biden in a visit to Philadelphia on Tuesday called the nation’s infrastructure “incredibly outdated” and said it must be fixed to serve the nation’s 21st century energy needs. “Much of it was built decades ago, and can’t handle today’s demands,” Biden said Tuesday at Peco Energy Co., which is using a $200 million federal stimulus grant to help develop technology like smart meters to allow customers to monitor and reduce their usage.

Neb. power plant says goodbye to coal, hello to hydrogen 

Source: Scott Detrow, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

Nebraska’s largest utility is swapping out coal for hydrogen at a power plant south of Lincoln. Nebraska Public Power District says the experimental new fuel source will cut its overall carbon footprint by about 10 percent. NPPD CEO Pat Pope insisted U.S. EPA’s impending greenhouse gas regulation “was not the driver” of the shift. “There were a lot of other reasons why this project made sense,” he said, ticking off at least 100 expected new jobs and the ability to expand the life of the Sheldon Station unit in Hallam, Neb.

Harvard Law’s Lazarus and Freeman discuss federal court Power Plan hearing, Tribe arguments 

Source: By Monica Trauzzi, E&E • Posted: Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

How could constitutional scholar and Harvard Law School professor Laurence Tribe’s involvement in last week’s U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit hearing on the Clean Power Plan affect the future of the rule? During today’s OnPoint, Richard Lazarus and Jody Freeman, professors at Harvard Law, explain why they believe the government came out ahead during last week’s federal court hearing. They also rebut Tribe’s arguments against the constitutionality of the Power Plan.