Obama re-election energizes environmental agenda

Source: Wendy Koch, USA TODAY • Posted: Friday, November 9th, 2012

The 2012 election, especially President Obama’s victory, suggests the nation’s energy and environmental agenda will largely continue in the same direction — not great news for many Romney supporters. Perhaps, but the 2012 elections and especially President Obama’s victory suggest the nation’s energy and environmental agenda will largely continue in the same direction — not great news for backers of GOP Gov. Mitt Romney.

‘Dirty energy’ money failed to sway American voters — poll

Source: Phil Taylor, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, November 8th, 2012

“This election was supposed to be about wealthy Big Oil-backed special interests spending unprecedented resources to wipe pro-environment candidates off the map,” said Gene Karpinski, president of the League of Conservation Voters. “But voters chose a different course.”

Calif. approves billions for clean power, rejects limiting green energy lobby

Source: Anne C. Mulkern and Debra Kahn, E&E reporters • Posted: Thursday, November 8th, 2012

California voters Tuesday passed a ballot measure that would generate as much as $2.75 billion for clean energy projects and rejected one that would have hobbled a green power ally. With 81 percent of ballots counted, the Golden State by a vote of 60 to 40 percent approved Proposition 39, which changes how multi-state businesses are taxed. It is expected to generate $1.1 billion annually in new revenue, money for the general fund and green energy.

New leadership at DOE?

Source: Emily Yehle, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, November 8th, 2012

Energy policy observers agree that one Cabinet member is almost sure to leave: Energy Secretary Steven Chu. While commended for some advances — such as the agency’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy — Chu has faced criticism on nearly everything in the Energy Department’s portfolio.

Wins and losses in state clean energy, environment battles

Source: Christa Marshall, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, November 8th, 2012

Environmentalists scored a victory in the New Hampshire governor’s race last night but lost one of the biggest state energy fights of the year over a renewable ballot proposal in Michigan. Meanwhile, the governor’s race in Washington — which could determine the status of proposed Northwestern coal ports and renewable policies — remained too close to call as of press time.

Vestas cuts more jobs, looks to sell 20% stake

Posted: Thursday, November 8th, 2012

Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas Wind Systems A/S said it hopes to auction as much as 20 percent of a stake in the company, and it plans to cut its staff by 3,000 people over two years. Chief Financial Officer Dag Andresen said the company’s leaders hope an investor will help keep the company afloat amid decreasing turbine prices.

Wind group optimistic about tax credit in lame duck

Source: Nick Juliano, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, November 8th, 2012

Victories by President Obama and congressional wind energy supporters from both parties have energized an industry fighting to keep a vital tax break from expiring at the end of the year. The American Wind Energy Association is feeling good about its chances of winning an extension of the production tax credit, which will expire Dec. 31 unless Congress acts. Continuing the credit has been AWEA’s top goal this year, and yesterday’s elections have the industry optimistic about its chances.

Status quo results mean recent battles will be revisited and gridlock may reign

Source: Nick Juliano and John McArdle, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

The most expensive election in U.S. history came to a relatively quick end this morning, with President Obama surging to re-election after a campaign that was marked by sharp divisions over how Americans should continue to power their homes and cars while protecting air and water quality. The president won a solid victory, prevailing in most of the hotly contested swing states, including Pennsylvania and Ohio, whose economies have benefited from new discoveries of oil and natural gas, as well as Colorado and Iowa, where support for renewable energy became a key campaign issue. In all, the president took 50 percent of the vote and 303 electoral votes, with only Florida’s 29 electoral votes still up for grabs as of early this morning. Republican Mitt Romney took 48 percent, and was sitting at 206 electoral votes.

Is renewable energy contagious? Research shows a ‘peer effect’

Source: Nathanael Massey, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

Outside of policy debates over tax credits and carbon pricing, something much simpler may be holding back the spread of renewable energy: its novelty. For much of the country’s consumer base, new energy technologies like photovoltaic arrays and smart meters represent an untried frontier. Without knowledge of the benefits these technologies can bring, consumers are hesitant to embrace them.

Conservative group gunning for state renewable mandates

Source: Nick Juliano, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

A coalition of businesses and conservative state legislators is aiming to eliminate state-level renewable energy standards. The American Legislative Exchange Council last month approved a model bill that would end requirements that utilities generate a set amount of electricity from renewable sources, such as wind and solar. ALEC connects businesses and state lawmakers to push free-market legislation, and state lawmakers who are members of ALEC often introduce the model bills in their home legislatures.