President Obama will call on Congress today to extend a crucial tax credit for the wind industry, as part of a broader “To Do List” that will provide the foundation for Obama’s message on job creation in the coming months. The list — which Obama officially will unveil today in a speech at 1:25 p.m. — consists of five actions that the White House contends “will create jobs and help restore middle class security.” None of the proposals are new, but they come as Republicans and the White House spar over job creation during an election year.
The Heartland Institute’s failed billboard campaign attacking the existence of climate change is driving a surge of corporate donors to abandon the group and prompting a mutiny among its Washington-based staff, which is decamping for less volatile surroundings, according to sources.
The craggy face of the “Unabomber,” Ted Kaczynski, stares at Chicago drivers from a billboard over the Eisenhower Expressway.”I still believe in global warming. Do you?” is the question that appears next to the murderer’s 1995 booking photo.The digital billboard, which appeared yesterday, is the latest effort by the Heartland Institute, a conservative Chicago think tank, to discredit the scientific underpinnings of man-made climate change ahead of its annual conference in Chicago this month.
American Bird Conservancy. An interactive map shades areas where wind power is likely to pose an elevated risk to birds.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s remarks this week linking climate change and U.S. oil dependence with national security today drew a sharp rebuke from Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Inhofe.
Oil service companies led by Technip SA (TEC) and Subsea 7 SA (SUBC) for the first time are working with wind energy developers in the North Sea’s 14 billion-euro ($19 billion) a year market. The offshore engineers plan to exploit the similarities between building undersea oil installations and constructing offshore wind farms and have both established renewable energy units. Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) also offers expertise to wind developers in the North Sea, where fossil fuels first discovered in 1966 are being depleted as clean energy demand rises.
“Offshore wind is still just a niche industry, but it’s a growing niche,” said Steen Broust Nielsen, director of the renewable energy consulting firm Make Consulting. “It will count for 8 percent of the global [wind] market in 2016.
That growth is driven by Europe’s significant offshore wind potential — the North Sea alone has the potential to provide Europe’s electricity needs 10 times over — along with policies in the European Union to reduce carbon emissions and promote renewable energy.
Climate change and oil dependence are issues of national security, and the Pentagon will take a lead role in shifting the way the country uses energy, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said last night. In remarks made at a Washington, D.C., reception held by the Environmental Defense Fund, Panetta became the highest-level official to draw a clear line between environmental, energy and security issues since their relationship was formally established in Pentagon strategy two years ago.
Under pressure from business groups, the Legislature has backed away from a plan to require utilities to buy a certain percentage of their electricity from renewable sources. The energy bill is one of the last pieces of legislation awaiting action before the 2012 session adjourns. But the business community opposed a section of the bill that said utilities had to step up their purchase of renewable power supplies. They argued that would raise electricity rates and not do much to improve Vermont’s greenhouse gas footprint.
Two environmental groups are challenging a $300 million proposal to build a wind project on the north end of Steens Mountain in southeastern Oregon. The Oregon Natural Desert Association and Portland Audubon have filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Portland to stop the project, arguing for a different development area. The association mapped out other areas in Oregon where wind development could occur without social and environmental consequences to Steens Mountain, association Executive Director Brent Fenty said.