Sen. Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka, urged the Senate to not even take up the bill, Tuesday, noting that a survey showed widespread support for the standards and Gov. Sam Brownback has voiced support for the wind energy. But Americans For Prosperity has called repealing the standards one of its top priorities this session and bankrolled a controversial statewide radio and TV ad blitz attempting to tie the standards to former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius and the federal health care reform. Several senators who voted to repeal the standards said they did so because it was time for the alternative energy companies to “stand on their own two feet.”
As U.S. EPA nears its June 1 deadline for releasing regulations to curb greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants, stakeholders are aggressively pitching the agency on how best to craft its rule. During today’s OnPoint, Dan Lashof, director of the Climate and Clean Air Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, discusses an updated analysis of the climate and economic impacts of NRDC’s widely publicized existing source recommendations.
fight over state standards for renewable energy generation has returned to the Kansas Senate. The so-called Renewable Portfolio Standards were set in place in 2009 as part of a deal for Kansas to issue a construction permit for a Sunflower Electric Cooperative coal-fired power plant near Holcomb. But they have pitted free-market conservatives against the industry.
Already buffeted by competing political interests over a proposal to open a liquefied natural gas export terminal on the Chesapeake Bay, leading Maryland Democrats now find themselves divided over a plan to install at least 25 wind energy turbines in the bay.
If you ask Cape Wind proponents about the president of the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, they’ll say you’re inquiring about the wrong person. “When you mention Audra Parker, you really want to be talking about Bill Koch,” said Cape Wind President Jim Gordon, when questioned about her multiple attempts to block his proposed $2.5 billion, 130-turbine offshore wind project in Nantucket Sound. “She basically carries Bill Koch’s water.”
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., said Iowa becomes the “political epicenter” with its first-in-the-nation caucuses leading up to the 2016 presidential election and called on Iowans to make candidates talk about the issue.
“I want to work with you to make sure Iowa is sending a strong message to every single presidential candidate that shows their face here: if you’re going to be credible in Iowa, you’ve got to be credible on climate change,” said Whitehouse, which received a round of applause from the more than 100 lawmakers and citizens in attendance at the Iowa Statehouse discussion.
The rejection of a New Jersey offshore wind pilot was met with boos, if not surprise, from state environmental groups and industry insiders, some of whom said Gov. Chris Christie’s (R) political ambitions may have been behind the decision. Fishermen’s Energy LLC planned to install a 25-megawatt, five-turbine project in waters about 3 miles off the coast of Atlantic City, which the developers aimed to complete by 2016. The demonstration project was one of seven under consideration by the Department of Energy to receive an additional $47 million grant later this spring.
Gina McCarthy was deep in enemy territory. Here on this wind-whipped prairie pocked with strip mines, Ms. McCarthy, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, faced 20 coal miners, union workers and local politicians deeply suspicious of the new climate change regulations she had come to pitch. The Obama administration hopes the regulations will help save the planet, but the North Dakotans say the rules will put coal and their livelihoods at risk.
Iowa representatives in Washington joined more than 140 other lawmakers Friday to call for extensions of a pair of tax credits to help wind energy. The investment tax credit and production tax credit, which both support on-shore and off-shore wind-energy developments, expired at the end of 2013. In a pair of separate letters, lawmakers in both the House and Senate encouraged leaders in Congress to extend the credits that help create jobs and promote renewable energy. Iowa generates 25 percent of its electricity by wind power, the most of any state.
A group of 144 members of the Congress sent letters Friday urging their colleagues to renew tax credits that help the wind energy industry.
The members want credits for investment in renewable energy technology and production of electricity to be renewed. Both credits expired at the end of 2013. “Like all businesses, the wind industry seeks certainty and predictability so that long-term project decisions and investments can be made,” said the letter signed by Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Mark Udall (D-Colo.), along with 24 other senator