Landmark exports deal was months in the making

Source: Geof Koss, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, December 17th, 2015

After years of legislative gridlock on energy policy, Congress is on the verge of approving a historic compromise giving both parties key wins in what has become a ceaseless war of attrition between fossil fuels and renewable interests. The blockbuster omnibus and tax package that could be signed into law as early as this weekend would repeal the 40-year-old ban on crude oil exports, while also extending for five years the renewable production and investment tax credits for wind and solar — sectors that are booming in response to climate change and falling costs but have been slowed by uncertainty over their on-again, off-again tax credits.

Congress negotiators get tax, spending deal: lawmakers

Source: BY RICHARD COWAN AND SUSAN CORNWELL, Reuters • Posted: Wednesday, December 16th, 2015

“That’s my understanding, that there is agreement on both tax extenders and the omnibus” spending bill,” Representative John Kline told reporters upon leaving a closed-door meeting of House Republicans. Representative Ann Wagner confirmed that in return for a repeal of the oil export ban, Democrats won temporary tax breaks to boost wind and solar development, an important priority for President Barack Obama in the aftermath of a Paris climate change deal that calls for significant reductions in carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels.

Trump’s Scottish love affair sours as court to rule on wind farm

Source: BY MICHAEL HOLDEN, Reuters • Posted: Tuesday, December 15th, 2015

Britain’s top court will decide on Wednesday whether to back U.S. Republican presidential front runner Donald Trump’s bid to stop wind farms being built near his luxury Scottish golf resort amid a growing spat with politicians in his mother’s homeland. The decision comes after a week in which his call to deny Muslims entry to the United States has resulted in his being stripped of two Scottish honorary positions, prompted a record petition calling for him to be banned from Britain, and drawn a rebuke from Prime Minister David Cameron and others.

Top 10 Renewable Energy Producing States

Source: By Gina-Marie Cheeseman, TriplePundit • Posted: Tuesday, December 15th, 2015

A recent report by the International Renewable Energy Agency found that achieving a 36 percent share of renewable energy by 2030 would provide half of the greenhouse gas emissions reductions needed to stay within the 2-degrees threshold. The U.S. has a chance to be a leader in renewable energy deployment given its sheer size and resources. And some states are leading the way. Olivet Nazarene University’s engineering department ranked the top 10 green states in terms of renewable energy.

Low Gas Prices Squeeze Industry and Fell a C.E.O.

Source: By CLIFFORD KRAUSS, New York Times • Posted: Tuesday, December 15th, 2015

Plummeting oil and natural gas prices have whipsawed the energy industry, forcing cancellations of billions of dollars of projects, late payments on loans, and over a quarter of a million layoffs worldwide. On Monday, with domestic gas prices hitting their lowest level since 2001, Cubic Energy, a company that produces natural gas and oil, became the latest of several dozen producers to file for bankruptcy protection this year. Even a company the size of Chesapeake Energy, one of the nation’s biggest producers, is struggling to reduce its $11.6 billion debt load.

European company to build first-ever offshore wind farm in the Great Lakes

Source: Daniel Cusick, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, December 15th, 2015

A Norwegian firm with extensive experience building wind farms in Europe will construct the first U.S. offshore wind farm on the Great Lakes, supplying up to 18 megawatts of electricity from turbines sited on Lake Erie near Cleveland. The wind farm, to be known as the Icebreaker project, is projected to cost $120 million and will be a critical test of wind power’s viability on the Great Lakes, according to the Lake Erie Energy Development Corp. (LEEDCo), a public-private partnership based in northeastern Ohio.

Solar, Wind Shares Jump as U.S. Nears Deal on Tax Credits

Source: By Alex Nussbaum Brian Eckhouse, Bloomberg News • Posted: Tuesday, December 15th, 2015

Shares of U.S. clean-energy companies jumped Tuesday as Congress neared a deal that would revive or extend tax credits for the wind and solar industries. SunEdison Inc., the world’s biggest renewable-energy developer, rose 13 percent at the close in New York while rooftop solar provider Sunrun Inc. gained 4.3 percent. Wind-farm builder Pattern Energy Group Inc. climbed 4 percent.

Parties scramble to close gap on oil exports, riders

Source: Geof Koss, Hannah Hess and Manuel Quiñones, E&E reporters • Posted: Tuesday, December 15th, 2015

Congressional leaders appear to be moving closer to an agreement to end the oil export ban and fund the federal government for the rest of the fiscal year, although key senators said major hurdles remain on policy riders. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) would not discuss details of the ongoing talks but signaled that he anticipated releasing text of both the omnibus and tax extenders packages late yesterday afternoon.

Parties stake out positions on how to allocate emissions allowances

Source: Jeffrey Tomich, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, December 15th, 2015

For state air regulators, the big question for 2016 is whether to choose rate- or mass-based compliance plans to satisfy U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan. For the states that decide simpler mass-based plans to cap power plant CO2 emissions are the way to go, an even thornier issue awaits. It involves how to allocate emissions allowances.

Renewable energy stocks spike after Paris climate deal

Source: By Devin Henry, The Hill • Posted: Tuesday, December 15th, 2015

Stocks in renewable energy companies rose on Monday, the first day of trading after world leaders agreed to a major climate change agreement. A top solar energy index was up 4.5 percent and a separate clean energy fund rose by 1.4 percent on Monday, Reuters reports. Fossil fuel companies, meanwhile, saw their prices tumble: Coal giant Peabody Energy Corp. fell by 12.6 percent, while Consol Energy Inc. dropped by 3.3 percent.