News

The White House claim that Obama-era regulations have cost $890 billion

Source: By Glenn Kessler, Washington Post • Posted: Thursday, February 23rd, 2017

The White House spokesman, in speaking about a House resolution signed by President Trump to roll back regulations enacted in the closing months of the Obama administration, cited an interesting statistic — that “Obama-era regulations … have cost the American business consumers a staggering $890 billion.” That seemed like a rather specific number, so we wanted to explore how valid it might be.

Lawmakers Propose ITC Extension That Would Benefit Distributed Wind

Source: By Betsy Lillian, North American Wind Power • Posted: Thursday, February 23rd, 2017

A bill that would provide a multiyear extension of the investment tax credit (ITC), including for small-scale wind power and other clean energy technology, has been re-introduced by bipartisan lawmakers. U.S. Reps. Tom Reed, R-N.Y., and Mike Thompson, D-Calif., have proposed the “Technologies for Energy Security Act,” which would provide parity with solar energy’s tax extension passed into law in 2015, explains the Distributed Wind Energy Association (DWEA), which is touting the benefits the bill would provide to the distributed wind industry.

Gov. Charlie Baker joins bipartisan coalition of governors asking President Donald Trump to support renewable energy

Source: By Mary Serreze, Masslive.com • Posted: Thursday, February 23rd, 2017

There is growing bipartisan support for renewable energy, if a recent letter from a bipartisan group of governors sent to the White House is any indication. Eight Republican and 12 Democratic governors this month asked President Donald J. Trump to support wind power, solar energy, grid modernization, transmission development and basic research on renewables. Mass. Gov. Charlie Baker is among the petitioning governors. “The nation’s wind and solar energy resources are transforming low-income rural areas in ways not seen since the passage of the Homestead Act over 150 years ago,” reads the Feb. 13 letter from the Governors’ Wind and Solar Energy Coalition.

Editorial: Wind energy proves worth in red states

Source: By Journal Star editorial board • Posted: Thursday, February 23rd, 2017

It’s one of the paradoxes of today’s political climate that wind energy, which often is promoted by liberal icons, is flourishing in red states. Texas, in fact, is the undisputed king when it comes to wind energy. Texas has attracted an estimated $38 billion in wind energy investment, with three times more wind generating capacity than any other state. Kansas and Iowa produce more than 30 percent of their electricity from wind. Oklahoma generates more than 20 percent.

E-Mails Reveal EPA Chief Cozied Up to Industry He Regulates

Source: By Jennifer A. Dlouhy, Todd Shields and Tim Loh, Bloomberg • Posted: Thursday, February 23rd, 2017

Newly installed EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt closely coordinated with major oil and gas companies, refiners and groups linked to the billionaire Koch brothers to combat environmental regulations during his time as Oklahoma attorney general, according to thousands of pages of e-mails released Wednesday. The documents, released under court order to the Center for Media and Democracy, a nonprofit watchdog, follow a pitched battle over whether Pruitt should lead the Environmental Protection Agency, culminating in a narrow 52-46 vote Friday to confirm him.

SolarCity’s Ties to Foreclosure Cases Raise Questions on Vetting Policies

Source: By DANIELLE IVORY, New York Times • Posted: Thursday, February 23rd, 2017

SolarCity, the nation’s leading installer of rooftop solar panels and a renewable energy darling, has pitched its value to investors on a simple premise: Once customers sign up to lease a system, they will make payments to the company month after month for at least 20 years. But even when the customers look good enough on paper, it does not always work out that way.

Tesla Swings to Loss in 4Q, Says Model 3 on Target

Source: By The Associated Press • Posted: Thursday, February 23rd, 2017

Unable to string together profitable quarters, electric car and solar cell maker Tesla Inc. reported a loss for the last three months of 2016. Tesla posted its first profit in three years in last year’s third quarter and had predicted net income in the fourth quarter. Instead, the company lost $121.3 million, or 78 cents per share, for the quarter. Still, that was less than half the $320.4 million loss from the year-earlier quarter.

Top energy aides get to work

Source: Robin Bravender, E&E News reporter • Posted: Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017

Mike Catanzaro, a former lobbyist at CGCN Group, started work today as special assistant to the president for energy and environmental policy in the White House National Economic Council, according to White House spokeswoman Kelly Love. George David Banks, formerly executive vice president at the nonprofit policy group American Council for Capital Formation, started Feb. 16 as special assistant to the president and senior director for international energy and environment, Love said.

BP Weighing Upgrade of U.S. Wind Turbines to Compete With Gas

Source: By Jennifer A. Dlouhy and Joe Ryan, Bloomberg • Posted: Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017

Congress’ renewal of the production tax credit in 2015 gave wind farm developers a powerful incentive to retrofit turbines, said Alex Morgan, a New York-based analyst for Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Thousands of turbines totaling 9,700 megawatts across the U.S. are between 10 and 20 years old, making them a prime target for upgrades, she said. BP made an investment at the end of last year that gives the company the option to buy replacement equipment for about 200 wind turbines and still qualify for the full production tax credit, worth 2.3 cents per kilowatt hour of electricity over the next 10 years.

Ind. Senate committee approves bill to kill net metering in 2022

Source: Jeffrey Tomich, E&E News reporter • Posted: Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017

A week after a lengthy and contentious hearing, the Indiana Senate Utilities Committee yesterday passed a controversial bill that would end net metering in the state in five years. Members voted 8-2, mostly along party lines, to approve an amended version of S.B. 309. The bill would change how customer-generators are compensated for excess energy they produce, replacing net metering with a system that credits utility customers at a rate 25 percent greater than the utility’s wholesale energy cost.