News

States press EPA for flexibility in power plant climate rules

Source: By Ben Geman, The Hill.com • Posted: Thursday, November 21st, 2013

State power regulators are urging the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to give states plenty of leeway to decide how they will meet upcoming carbon emissions standards for existing power plants. The National Association of State Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) adopted a resolution Wednesday calling on the EPA to recognize the “primacy” of states to “lead the creation of emission performance systems that reflect the policies, energy needs, resource mix, economic conditions of each State and region.”

Texas project aims to be first commercial farm in nation

E&E • Posted: Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

The Gulf Offshore Wind Project, just off the Texas coast, may be poised to become the first commercial-scale wind farm in the United States. With long delays at the Cape Wind project in Massachusetts, a team that includes university professors and a former British oil executive says the offshore farm in the Gulf of Mexico could be the wind industry’s most viable option for a first project.

Calif. needs to set 51% renewables target to keep market humming — report

Source: Debra Kahn, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

California risks stalling its renewable energy industry if it does not mandate more renewables generation, according to a new report by University of California law schools. For the state’s legal and energy policy experts, California’s success in reaching its near-term renewables targets underscores the risk of complacency.

MLPs for renewables would cost $1.3B over 10 years

Source: Nick Juliano, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

A nonpartisan panel of congressional tax experts has determined that a bill to extend a tax break popular among fossil fuel companies to clean energy firms would cost about $1.3 billion over a decade, an aide to the bill’s sponsor said this afternoon. The Joint Committee on Taxation delivered its score this week to Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), who earlier this year introduced the “Master Limited Partnerships Parity Act,” which is seen as a candidate for inclusion in a broader tax reform package.

Could first U.S. offshore wind farm be in Texas?

Source: By JAMES OSBORNE, Staff Writer, Dallas Morning News • Posted: Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

Five miles off the coast of South Padre Island lays the beginning of the Gulf Offshore Wind Project, which developers like to refer to by the optimistic acronym GOWind. Right now the only thing marking the 41,000 acres in the Gulf of Mexico that have been leased is a buoy recording the paths of the birds and bats flying overhead. But in three years’ time, a team including university professors and a former British oil executive is hoping to have the nation’s first commercial scale wind farm installed and eventually generating enough power for 1.8 million homes – at least when the wind is blowing.

Vitter asks OMB to detail energy revenues vs. spending, tax breaks

Source: Nick Juliano, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), the ranking member on the Environment and Public Works Committee, has asked the Office of Management and Budget to calculate how much revenue the government receives from various energy sources — such as oil and gas revenues — compared to what it spends through grant programs and tax benefits to energy providers.

LOCKED IN THE CABINET

Source: By GLENN THRUSH, Politico • Posted: Monday, November 18th, 2013

But the president’s aides didn’t quite see Chu that way. He might have been the only Obama administration official with a Nobel other than the president himself, but inside the West Wing of the White House Chu was considered a smart guy who said lots of stupid things, a genius with an appallingly low political IQ—“clueless,” as deputy chief of staff Jim Messina would tell colleagues at the time.

Nebraska: Hassebrook, Dubas push wind energy development

Source: By DON WALTON / Lincoln Journal Star • Posted: Monday, November 18th, 2013

Democratic gubernatorial candidates Annette Dubas and Chuck Hassebrook pledged their support Friday for aggressive development of wind energy in Nebraska. Republican Tom Carlson, the third gubernatorial candidate who addressed the closing session of the 2013 Nebraska Wind Conference, said wind energy development is needed, but he believes “we ought to use the coal and oil available to us until it’s gone.”

Calif. leads way in tackling instability tied to renewables

Source: Hannah Northey, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, November 15th, 2013

California is leading what could become a nationwide charge to manage instability in the aging U.S. electric grid brought on by large penetrations of wind and solar power as it combats climate change. The Golden State’s grid operator, the California Independent System Operator (ISO), in a report laid out solutions for challenges that could crop up during the integration of an anticipated 11,000 megawatts of new wind and solar — equal to the amount of 22 midsized coal plants — during the next eight years.

Bipartisan coalition aims to end wind power subsidies

Source: Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller • Posted: Friday, November 15th, 2013

Kansas Republican Rep. Mike Pompeo leads a bipartisan coalition calling for the end of wind subsidies as Congress considers allowing wind tax credits to expire at the end of the year. Pompeo and 51 other lawmakers, including West Virginia Democratic Rep. Nick Rahall, sent a letter to the House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp, urging him to reject extending the Wind Production Tax Credit. “The growth in wind is driven not by market demand, but by a combination of state renewable portfolio standards and a tax credit that is now more valuable than the price of the electricity the plants actually generate,” reads the letter to Camp.