Industries gird for battle over Obama’s proposed tax overhaul

Source: John McArdle and Gabriel Nelson • E&E • Posted: Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

The Obama administration today proposed overhauling the corporate tax code and lowering the top corporate income tax rate from 35 percent to 28 percent as long as the effort is paid for by slashing tax credits and closing loopholes — including many of the oil and gas industry breaks that the White House has targeted in the past. The proposal — which would also set the top tax rate for domestic manufacturers at 25 percent and preserve tax credits for research and development and clean energy — would be the first major reform of the corporate tax code in decades.

PTC key to wind energy manufacturing jobs

Source: Carl Levesque • AWEA • Posted: Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

To understand the impact of wind power’s key federal Production Tax Credit (PTC), Congress need look no further than the small town of Newton, Iowa. Manufacturing roots run deep in Newton, which was once home to Maytag appliances. A few years ago, the Maytag plant closed, leaving some 3,000 people out of work and sending economic shock waves through the town of 16,000.

Extension is sought for expiring wind tax credit

Source: ALEX GUILLEN • POLITICO • Posted: Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

Some Democratic and Republican lawmakers still aren’t giving up on extending the wind production tax credit, which expires at the end of the year. Supporters had hoped an extension could be included in the payroll tax cut deal that cleared Congress on Friday, probably the last must-pass bill of the year. Now they’re looking for other opportunities.

Texas wind boom busies Port of Houston

E&E • Posted: Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

The Texas wind boom has prompted a big increase in the number of wind turbine parts passing through the Port of Houston. In 2011, 55,800 tons of wind equipment sailed into Houston from foreign ports, nearly twice the tonnage from the previous year.

Offshore wind exerts wide appeal in Md.

Source: Aaron C. Davis and Greg Masters • Washington Post • Posted: Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

When Maryland lawmakers return this week to a debate about offshore wind power, talk likely will focus on the minutiae of how much a subsidy for the fledgling industry will cost ratepayers. “I have been working on clean-energy issues for the last 10 years, and I have never seen an issue that mobilizes and captures the imagination of the public as much,” Mike Tidwell, president of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, recently told a gathering of green-energy financiers meeting in the District. “In offshore wind, you’ve got a solution that strikes the average person as sufficient to the scale of the problem. You’ve got something visionary, something large, something that looks and feels like the future.”

Seeing which way the wind blows in Nebraska

Source: Paul Hammel • OMAHA WORLD-HERALD • Posted: Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

Wind energy has long been seen as a tremendous but untapped opportunity to help rural Nebraska communities, ranchers and farmers, who lease out their land for the giant wind turbines. As of January, neighboring Iowa had 4,322 megawatts of wind energy capacity, according to the American Wind Energy Association — ranking second nationally, behind only Texas.

Midwestern Voters Willing to Pay More for Clean Energy

Minnesota Environmental Partnership • Posted: Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

A majority of voters in four Midwestern states are willing to pay $6 a month on their electricity bills to help promote clean energy and energy efficiency, according to a telephone poll of 1,600 voters in Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Wyoming wind farm construction lags behind permitting

Source: JEREMY FUGLEBERG • Casper Star-Tribune • Posted: Monday, February 20th, 2012

Not long ago, it wasn’t unusual for a hundred or more wind turbines to sprout into the Wyoming sky each year. But while the state’s wind generates a bigger chunk of Wyoming electricity than ever before, the number of built turbines has lagged ever slower behind the number of permits issued by state regulators.

Wind power industry braces for slowdown as hopes fade for tax credit extension

Source: Nathanael Massey • E&E • Posted: Monday, February 20th, 2012

The wind energy industry finds itself in damage-control mode after House and Senate negotiators reached a deal on the payroll tax extension — but failed to include an important tax credit for wind energy. Industry leaders say the production tax credit (PTC) for wind is critical to preserve thousands of jobs and ensure the sector’s growth. Its omission raises the possibility that the robust growth enjoyed by wind power over the past few years might soon shudder to a halt.

Patrick: NStar to buy Cape Wind energy in merger deal

Source: Greg Turner • Boston Herald • Posted: Friday, February 17th, 2012

Gov. Deval Patrick, who has been trying to strong-arm Nstar into purchasing electricity from his pet energy project Cape Wind, announced today that the utility will buy 27.5 percent of the proposed offshore wind project’s electricity as part of a deal allowing the mega-merger of Nstar and Northeast Utilities.