Last week, 15 Senate Republicans abandoned their party’s tried-and-true “I’m not a scientist” stance to back amendments affirming that human emissions are at least partly responsible for global warming. The shift in message was subtle, and some political experts said it wasn’t a shift at all. There have always been Republicans who acknowledged that human activity has a hand in climate change, they said, and the two amendments to the Keystone XL oil pipeline bill merely gave them a forum to express it.
Renewable energy groups say EPA used old data in calculating states’ greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets under the existing power plant rule, which underestimates the potential of solar, wind and other renewables in meeting the goals and creates a scenario where states may “over-rely” on natural gas to meet the rule’s targets. The renewable industry groups are urging EPA to update the existing source performance standards (ESPS) to reflect higher values for renewable energy potential, include more accurate cost assumptions, and adopt the “alternative approach” that EPA proposed that the industry believes is a more accurate method to calculate the rule’s state-specific targets.
The Midwest is home to 1 in 5 Americans and an outsized manufacturing sector that consumes 20 percent more energy per dollar of economic output than the national average, the report found. The region is responsible for higher per-capita greenhouse gas emissions, too, emitting 22 percent more than the U.S. average. In a county-by-county perspective, the study compiled results on heat-related deaths, increased electricity demand, climbing energy costs, dipping labor output, dwindling crop yields and damage to transportation infrastructure.
The Interior Department is set to issue final approval of a 515-mile-long multistate transmission line project that the Obama administration considers a top priority but that has been hounded by concerns it could compromise a New Mexico missile testing range and degrade a pristine Arizona river valley. At issue is the SunZia Southwest Transmission Project, which is projected to carry as much as 4,500 megawatts of what proponents say will be mostly wind-generated electricity from northeast New Mexico to an electric distribution point northwest of Tucson, Ariz.
Cape Wind’s future is again in doubt this week after New England’s grid operator suspended the offshore wind developer from participating in wholesale electricity markets — at the same time Cape Wind executives are seeking to downplay the project’s termination of land-use agreements.
Did President Obama’s State of the Union remarks on wind power’s leadership role indicate a shift in support for the production tax credit? During today’s OnPoint, Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association, explains why his industry continues to need the PTC, despite its global leadership. He also talks about his organization’s lobbying strategy for the Republican-controlled Congress.
Patience is both a virtue and professional necessity for Michael Skelly. More than five years ago, the CEO of Clean Line Energy Partners LP and his company began the process to eventually build something called the Plains and Eastern Clean Line. The project will be a 700-mile, 600-kilovolt, direct current transmission line bringing wind energy from the Oklahoma Panhandle, Texas and Kansas to electricity utilities in Arkansas and Tennessee. If all goes as planned, construction on the $2 billion Clean Line will begin next year and be operational by 2018.
Wind development has grown into a significant industry for the Nobles and Jackson County area. Revenue from the Wind Energy Production Tax this year was already 10 times higher than it was a decade earlier. Over that same period, more than $27.9 million has been paid to counties, townships and schools in the Nobles County and Jackson County area, including $8.9 million to those units in Nobles and Jackson counties alone.
State support for natural gas could hurt thriving local clean-energy industries PNM VIA AP/FILE 2014, This image provided by New Mexico power company PNM shows some of the more than five dozen giant turbines erected on a remote mesa in the state. MASSACHUSETTS WILL command the national stage next week when the Department of Interior auctions […]
Abengoa opened another mammoth plant on Friday in the Mojave Desert in California that uses the same approach. But despite the technology’s success, Abengoa and other developers say they do not have plans at the moment to build more such plants in the United States. And that is largely because of uncertainty surrounding an important tax credit worth 30 percent of a project’s cost. Although the subsidy, known as the Investment Tax Credit, is to remain in place until the end of 2016, when it will drop to 10 percent, that does not give developers enough time to get through the long process of securing land, permits, financing and power-purchase agreements, executives and analysts say.