“It’s always been a sort of energy hub for different technologies,” said Paul F. Curran, managing director of BQ Energy, a renewable-energy developer that is transforming the former steel mill into a green power plant. “We can put in more generation without having to build new infrastructure — big power lines and that type of thing — because the conventional Rust Belt power is retiring. So we can hop into the grid economically.”
The Illinois Commerce Commission will hold three public forums on Clean Line Energy’s proposed Grain Belt Express high-voltage transmission line later this month. The hearings are set in communities in the western, central and eastern portions of the state. The purpose is to hear from residents who would be directly affected by the proposed transmission line that will deliver wind energy from Kansas to several states in the east. As proposed, the line would run through Pike, Scott, Greene, Macoupin, Montgomery, Christian, Shelby, Cumberland and Clark counties in the state of Illinois.
Asserting independence from Portland carries its own risks. During tough negotiations over a package for statewide road and bridge work near the end of the legislative session last month, Ms. Brown said she would be amenable to repealing a measure she signed just three months earlier: a clean fuels carbon-reduction law.The law, which the oil industry and some Republicans abhor, is aimed at cutting climate-change gases by requiring a gradual reduction of carbon in fuels. Ms. Brown said that if there was another way to achieve the same end, a political compromise could be worth it.
Grassley Secures Inclusion of Wind Energy, Biodiesel, Cellulosic Ethanol, Education Provisions in Committee Tax Extenders Package
Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa secured the inclusion of tax incentives for wind energy, biodiesel and cellulosic ethanol in the bipartisan tax extenders bill the Finance Committee will consider on Tuesday. The bill also contains long-time Grassley-sponsored provisions on tax deductions for higher education tuition and school supplies bought by teachers. The inclusion of the wind energy provision was a particular victory for Grassley, as allies of non-renewable energy sources are highly critical of wind energy and work against it.
The Senate Finance Committee tomorrow will mark up a broad tax package that includes a number of expired energy incentives, as senators look to clear the decks on the annual extenders battle. As expected, the chairman’s mark released Friday contains two-year extensions of the 52 on-again, off-again tax breaks that spark the extenders ritual, including the particularly contentious renewable production tax credit. In addition, the bill would extend the option for renewable projects to choose between the PTC and the 30 percent investment tax credit through 2016, which is estimated to cost $10.4 billion over 10 years.
The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee is adding the final touches and working through remaining negotiations on comprehensive energy legislation and could release the highly anticipated document as soon as today. Republican Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski of Alaska has said she plans to begin marking up the bill this week and report the language out of committee before Congress adjourns for the August recess. That schedule would ensure the bill is ready for floor action as soon as leadership has floor time available, said Robert Dillon, a spokesman for the senator.
Assuming a short-term CR is put in place, Congress will buy some time to try to assemble an omnibus package, which would allow appropriators to salvage their hard work by incorporating at least some of the provisions from the individual bills. The spending stalemate also makes it tougher for Republicans to press hot-button environmental policy riders in omnibus negotiations, given that there’s little way to demonstrate the levels of support in each chamber for the provisions. “It’s hard,” Murkowski said.
The industry is now being invited to take a second look at its crude price assumptions for next year, as robust U.S. production, weak demand growth and the anticipated return of Iranian oil supplies to Europe all cast a pall on a price recovery that was expected to near $70 per barrel by early 2016. In a new notice, Moody’s Investors Services predicts oil prices in 2016 will average $60 to $65 per barrel, increasing to the $70 per barrel range internationally in 2017.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission today moved forward with a high-profile effort to protect the U.S. bulk power system from cyberattacks as activists dressed as clowns marched outside the agency’s headquarters to protest the spread of gas infrastructure. FERC Chairman Norman Bay and his fellow commissioners unanimously proposed revisions to reliability standards to address the threat utilities face from network or computer hardware infected with malware.
In May 2013, Kristen House, her husband and their three children packed up their Nashville, Tenn., home, strapped their Nissan Leaf to the back of the moving truck and hit the road to foggy San Francisco. Whenever they’d stop somewhere, House would pull the Leaf off the moving truck and the family would drive it around town, running errands or grabbing a bite to eat. They even zipped around the Bonneville Salt Flats in northwestern Utah with the electric car. With a range of 60 to 100 miles on one charge, it was too much of a risk to drive the car out West like a traditional gas car. During the trip, she said, they could go days without seeing an electric charging station.