Bill to extend tax advantages to renewables gets new lifeline 

Source: Joel Kirkland, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, June 26th, 2015

Bipartisan members of the House and Senate reintroduced legislation yesterday that would extend the use of tax-advantaged corporate structures to renewable energy and low-carbon power projects. The lead Senate sponsor, Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), described his “Master Limited Partnerships Parity Act” as a “modest modification” of the tax code. It extends to solar and wind power companies the same tax-free equity financing enjoyed by most natural gas pipeline companies.

Coons revives Senate bill to boost clean energy incentives 

Source: Daniel Bush, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, June 25th, 2015

Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) today introduced a bill that would give alternative energy sources the same tax advantages enjoyed by the fossil fuel industry, his third attempt at a tax code fix that has failed to gain traction in the past two Congresses. The legislation would allow developers of solar, wind and other clean energy sources to form master limited partnerships (MLPs), a business structure that is traded as a corporate stock but taxed as a partnership.

Companies to Congress: Save the PTC

Source: By Jaclyn Brandt, Fierce Energy • Posted: Thursday, June 25th, 2015

A new bill has U.S. companies up in arms over the possible elimination of Production Tax Credits (PTC) across the United States. Eighty-five companies sent a letter to the 21 lawmakers sponsoring HR 1901, or the PTC Elimination Act, explaining the bill would “take away an effective, business tax incentive that creates jobs, drives rural economic development and reduces energy costs for Americans across the country.”

N.J. Supreme Court to decide fate of controversial offshore pilot project 

Source: Colin Sullivan, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, June 25th, 2015

An offshore wind developer looking to build a 25-megawatt pilot wind farm off the coast of New Jersey has appealed its case to the state’s highest court. In legal briefs filed late last week with the state Supreme Court, Cape May, N.J.-based Fishermen’s Energy once again challenged a New Jersey Board of Public Utilities decision from last year that denies the company the right to start construction. BPU has maintained that the power from the project would be too expensive, despite the pledge of a $47 million federal Energy Department grant and statements in the past by Gov. Chris Christie (R) that he wanted the Garden State to be a leader on offshore wind.

Indiana will defy Obama on climate change plan

Source: By The Associated Press • Posted: Thursday, June 25th, 2015

Indiana will not comply with President Barack Obama’s plan to battle climate change by requiring reductions in emissions from coal-fired power plants, Republican Gov. Mike Pence said today. The proposal as currently written, known as the Clean Power Plan, will make Indiana electricity more expensive and less reliable and hurt economic growth in Indiana and across the nation, Pence wrote in a letter to Obama. The plan targets pollution from the coal-fired power plants that Indiana relies on. Pence said the Indiana coal industry employs more than 26,000 people.

Whitfield sees easy passage for EPA bill, but next step’s uncertain 

Source: Jean Chemnick, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, June 25th, 2015

Legislation that would let states opt out of U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan is expected to pass the House this evening “by a nice, healthy margin,” the bill’s sponsor said today. Kentucky Republican Ed Whitfield’s measure, H.R. 2042, would let states decline to implement the existing power plant rule, which he deemed a moderate check to EPA’s “radical regulation.”

Senate legislative package remains work in progress 

Source: Geof Koss, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

Committee aides say discussions on the bill are ongoing, but legislative language has yet to materialize, in large part because of the more than 100 bills that have been referred to the panel since Murkowski announced plans to move comprehensive legislation earlier this year. The bills span a range of policy arenas, including production, infrastructure, efficiency and accountability.

This Huge Wind Turbine Floating on Water Is Fukushima’s Energy Solution

Source: By Bryan Lufkin, Gizmodo • Posted: Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

A mere 12 miles from the wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant will soon sit a 620-foot, 1,500-ton windmill atop a 5,000-ton podium. It’ll be the biggest floating wind turbine on Earth, and it could usher in a new age of green energy for a region largely fed up with nuclear energy. The turbine, completed Monday, will generate up to 7 megawatts of electricity, making it Japan’s most powerful wind turbine, and the most powerful floating turbine in the world. That’s good news for Japan, a country that’s shut down nuclear power plants in the wake of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami and subsequent meltdown.

In grid debate, ‘tension is not always a bad thing,’ says FERC’s Honorable 

Source: Rod Kuckro and Hannah Northey, E&E reporters • Posted: Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

Colette Honorable, the newest member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, is taking to heart some recent advice offered by a state utility commissioner — always remember where you come from. “The point of that is to remember that state regulation is important, the ways in which state regulators carry out their work is important,” Honorable said in a recent interview.

Debate over California’s renewable energy expansion goes through the roof

Source: BY JEREMY B. WHITE, Sacramento Breee • Posted: Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

A political fight over California’s renewable energy industry is playing out in the corridors of power, but it deals with something closer to home: your rooftop. Capitol policymakers are advancing an ambitious proposal to have renewable sources generate half of the state’s electricity by 2030, up from the 33 percent benchmark already in law. The full force of California’s political establishment backs the goal: Gov. Jerry Brown pitched the idea, Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles, has promoted it aggressively, and bills enshrining the new standard passed both the Senate and the Assembly with strong Democratic support.