Tax cuts, wind energy restrictions signed into law by Gov. John Kasich. Here are four takeaways  

Source: By Jeremy Pelzer, Cleveland Plain Dealer • Posted: Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

John Kasich gave final approval Monday to sweeping budget review legislation that includes expanded tax cuts and credits and major new restrictions on new wind turbines in the state. Kasich, speaking at a signing ceremony held at a food bank in suburban Columbus, praised the tax cuts, as well as funding for issues such as mental health services.

Political spotlight returns to Energy panel this week with votes on FERC nominees, KXL pipeline

Source: Hannah Northey, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, June 16th, 2014

The arcane but powerful Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will once again spark political conflagration this week as the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee casts its vote on Norman Bay, President Obama’s second contentious pick in recent months to lead the agency. The Senate committee Wednesday is scheduled to vote on Bay and the renomination of Cheryl LaFleur, the agency’s acting chairwoman whose term expires this month, as well as a bill fast-tracking the stalled Keystone XL pipelin

Gov. Brown and lawmakers reach deal on spending billions in carbon cap-and-trade revenues

Source: Anne C. Mulkern, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, June 16th, 2014

Billions of dollars in revenues from California’s carbon cap-and-trade auctions will help fund development of the state’s high-speed rail line and pay for public transit, affordable housing and communities located near jobs and transportation under a deal struck yesterday.

McCarthy draws long-shot leadership rival as enviros fume over wind credit

Source: Elana Schor, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, June 16th, 2014

House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calif.) smooth glide to the majority leader’s post next week hit a small bump today in the form of Rep. Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho) as greens slammed him for opposing an extension of the wind production tax credit (PTC). A dyed-in-the-wool conservative elected in the tea party wave of 2010, Labrador announced a long-shot candidacy to replace departing House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) with a statement that vowed to tackle “immobility amongst the poor” and the power of “special interests” over policymaking.” Americans don’t believe their leaders in Washington are listening and now is the time to change that,” Labrador said. “We must restore the proper role of government to create space for free markets and civil society to prosper and flourish.

Industry urges Moniz to support transmission line connecting Okla. to the Southeast

Source: Elizabeth Harball, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, June 16th, 2014

Renewable energy developers and wind industry groups yesterday voiced their support for a proposed $2 billion, 700-mile transmission line project in a series of letters to Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. Called the Plains & Eastern Clean Line, the project would funnel 3,500 megawatts of the Oklahoma Panhandle’s wind wealth to energy buyers in Arkansas, Tennessee and population centers in other Southeastern states. It is being developed by the Houston-based company Clean Line Energy.

Ohio poised to become first state to freeze renewable energy standard

Source: Nathanael Massey, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, June 16th, 2014

Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) is expected to sign a bill into law this weekend freezing his state’s renewable energy standard (RES) for two years, marking a victory for conservative state legislators and some industries that have opposed the policies. While the bill (S.B. 310) would not eliminate the RES, it would put the brakes on rules that mandate annual energy efficiency upgrades and encourage the growth of renewable energy. Provisions favoring in-state generation and a carve-out for solar energy would be permanently scrapped.

Ohio rebels against Obama climate change agenda with energy bill

Source: By Suzanne Goldenberg, US environment correspondent, Guardian • Posted: Monday, June 16th, 2014

The coal-heavy state of Ohio rebelled against Barack Obama’s climate change agenda on Friday, becoming the first state to roll back measures promoting wind and solar power and energy efficiency. The bill signed into law by Ohio’s governor, John Kasich, puts a two-year freeze on measures requiring power companies to obtain some of their electricity from wind and solar power, and reduce demand for electricity. The move will make it harder for Ohio to meet new standards unrolled by the Environmental Protection Agency earlier this month cutting carbon pollution from power plants by a national average of 30%, by 2030, opponents of the new measure said.

Ohio Governor signs bill pausing renewable-energy goals

Source: By The Associated Press • Posted: Monday, June 16th, 2014

Republican Gov. John Kasich on Friday signed into law a bill delaying the phase-in of the state’s renewable-energy and efficiency targets and repealing advanced-energy mandates put in place in 2008. The law puts a two-year hold on renewables targets in a compromise Kasich backed to avoid a full repeal being pushed in the state Senate. The thresholds, to be maintained at current levels next year and in 2016, resume in 2017 if the state Legislature fails to act. The law also creates a study panel of lawmakers to review the impacts of Ohio’s clean-energy standard and sets out that the Legislature’s aim is a permanent repeal.

Despite representing wind-heavy district, new majority leader likely to oppose PTC extension — source

Source: Nick Juliano, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, June 16th, 2014

The impending promotion to House majority leader for Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the California Republican with a moderate reputation on energy policy who represents one of the windiest districts in the country, would at first seem like good news for clean energy supporters hoping to extend a key renewable electricity tax break at the end of this year. Not so fast. A source close to McCarthy told Greenwire he is not in favor of renewing the production tax credit, which expired at the end of last year. Extending the $23-per-megawatt-hour credit has been the top priority for wind, geothermal and other energy companies that warn their businesses could collapse without the credit.

All quiet on the CEQ front

Source: Robin Bravender, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, June 13th, 2014

Mike Boots should probably get comfortable in his seat in the White House’s Eisenhower Executive Office Building.He’s been acting chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality since February with no word from the White House about a replacement. And it looks like he’ll be sticking around for a while — potentially through the November elections and even into next year, according to sources tracking the position. “I have the sense that he’s well integrated into the new White House structure,” working with President Obama’s new counselor John Podesta and energy and climate adviser Dan Utech, said Clinton-era CEQ Chairman George Frampton. “So why buy more uncertainty on a confirmation delay right now? I would expect that come next January or February the issue may arise again, but in the meantime he’s acting and could conceivably stay.”