Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) predicted today that his motion to strike a new U.S. EPA rule for power plant air toxics would fare better than efforts to roll back air rules using the Congressional Review Act.
European wind energy is picking up as recently released statistics by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) show an upward spike in the number of wind farms created, amount invested, and energy generated. The European Commission describes it as one of the fasting-growing energy sources, while the sector itself aims to get wind power to account for 20 percent of final EU electricity consumption by 2020. In 2011, wind accounted for 6.3 percent up from 5.3 percent the year before.
The top Republican on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee says the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission should be doing more than just advising U.S. EPA on whether power plants should be given extensions to comply with new air pollution rules. Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski believes a FERC staff paper released last month that lays out an advising role for the commission relinquishes too much power to EPA and does not require the agency to take advice from electric reliability professionals.
A bipartisan group from Colorado’s congressional delegation is calling for the extension of the wind-energy-production tax credit to be added to the bill extending the payroll-tax cuts.
Two Colorado Republicans yesterday joined their state’s Democratic lawmakers in backing a wind tax credit set to expire at year’s end, underscoring the degree to which the swing state has become a political asset to renewable-power groups pushing for its extension. In a letter to bipartisan leaders of conference committee talks on a payroll tax-cut deal, which is mired in political combat despite some Democrats’ hopes to make it a vehicle for clean-energy tax extenders, seven Colorado lawmakers urged that the wind production tax credit (PTC) get new life beyond its scheduled demise.
Green power surged in California last year as utilities added renewable power at a record-high level, the state’s Public Utilities Commission said in a new report. The Golden State last year added 830 megawatts of wind and solar energy, capacity that at peak power would supply about 400,000 homes. It was the largest annual increase since the inception of California’s renewables portfolio standard (RPS), a program requiring utilities to make portions of their power from clean sources.
Sens. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) and John Kerry (D-Mass.), for instance, are floating a plan to extend the production tax credit for wind energy projects for one year through 2013.
Senate Democrats today plan to propose attaching a longer life for two tax credits hotly sought by renewable energy companies to a two-year transportation bill as the long-term fate of those “extenders” remains in limbo.
The two amendments pitched by Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) to the transportation bill ahead of a Finance Committee markup set for this afternoon would extend the wind production tax credit until 2013 and revive a Treasury Department program that gave renewables producers grants in lieu of a tax credit before it expired at the end of last year.
Opportunities for wind energy in Nebraska took a huge leap forward last week. The Southwest Power Pool approved a plan to construct a high-voltage transmission line from the Gerald Gentleman Station power plant near Sutherland north into Cherry County and then east through northern Nebraska.
The Interior Department today said it is beginning a review of commercial wind energy leasing off the coast of Massachusetts, the latest in a handful of states to move forward with development.