Bald eagles, bats thwarting plans for Minn. wind farm

E&E • Posted: Monday, February 27th, 2012

A Minnesota commission yesterday held up a plan to build a rural wind farm because of concerns for bald eagles and insect-eating bats. AWA Goodhue Wind Project will need an Avian and Bat Protection Plan approved by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission before the developers can begin work on a 50-turbine wind farm in southeast Minnesota.

Bipartisan Senate group presses Reid, McConnell on wind tax credit

Source: Ben Geman • The Hill • Posted: Monday, February 27th, 2012

A left-to-right coalition of senators is pressing GOP and Democratic leaders to quickly extend tax credits for wind power projects that are slated to lapse at year’s end. “The future of the American wind industry requires a stable tax environment in which to operate,” states the bipartisan Feb. 22 letter from a dozen senators to Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

Kerry, Brown call for extension of wind energy tax credits

Source: Erin Ailworth • Boston Globe • Posted: Friday, February 24th, 2012

Senators, including John Kerry and Scott Brown, are urging government officials to reauthorize a production tax credit for wind energy projects that is set to expire at the end of the year.

In a Nod to Gas Prices, Obama Talks About Energy

Source: MARK LANDLER • New York Times • Posted: Friday, February 24th, 2012

President Obama, confronted by the political perils of surging gas prices in an election year, on Thursday defended his efforts to wean the United States off imported oil, even as he conceded there was little he could do in the short run to ease the pain at the pump. Speaking to students at the University of Miami, in a swing state where gas averages $3.69 a gallon, Mr. Obama said: “Just like last year, gas prices are climbing across the country; this time, it’s happening even earlier. And when gas prices go up, it hurts everybody.”

Coalition promotes ‘homegrown wind’ for Pa. consumers

Source: Daniel Cusick, • E&E • Posted: Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

Pennsylvania, one of the nation’s premier coal states, is promoting wind energy under a new partnership that seeks to expand the state’s wind portfolio to as much as 6 percent of total generation over the coming years. The initiative, known as ChoosePAWind, launched yesterday with a website portal providing businesses and consumers with information about what companies and institutions are investing in wind power across the commonwealth, as well as how and where to purchase electricity generated by Pennsylvania turbines.

Industries gird for battle over Obama’s proposed tax overhaul

Source: John McArdle and Gabriel Nelson • E&E • Posted: Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

The Obama administration today proposed overhauling the corporate tax code and lowering the top corporate income tax rate from 35 percent to 28 percent as long as the effort is paid for by slashing tax credits and closing loopholes — including many of the oil and gas industry breaks that the White House has targeted in the past. The proposal — which would also set the top tax rate for domestic manufacturers at 25 percent and preserve tax credits for research and development and clean energy — would be the first major reform of the corporate tax code in decades.

PTC key to wind energy manufacturing jobs

Source: Carl Levesque • AWEA • Posted: Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

To understand the impact of wind power’s key federal Production Tax Credit (PTC), Congress need look no further than the small town of Newton, Iowa. Manufacturing roots run deep in Newton, which was once home to Maytag appliances. A few years ago, the Maytag plant closed, leaving some 3,000 people out of work and sending economic shock waves through the town of 16,000.

Extension is sought for expiring wind tax credit

Source: ALEX GUILLEN • POLITICO • Posted: Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

Some Democratic and Republican lawmakers still aren’t giving up on extending the wind production tax credit, which expires at the end of the year. Supporters had hoped an extension could be included in the payroll tax cut deal that cleared Congress on Friday, probably the last must-pass bill of the year. Now they’re looking for other opportunities.

Texas wind boom busies Port of Houston

E&E • Posted: Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

The Texas wind boom has prompted a big increase in the number of wind turbine parts passing through the Port of Houston. In 2011, 55,800 tons of wind equipment sailed into Houston from foreign ports, nearly twice the tonnage from the previous year.

Offshore wind exerts wide appeal in Md.

Source: Aaron C. Davis and Greg Masters • Washington Post • Posted: Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

When Maryland lawmakers return this week to a debate about offshore wind power, talk likely will focus on the minutiae of how much a subsidy for the fledgling industry will cost ratepayers. “I have been working on clean-energy issues for the last 10 years, and I have never seen an issue that mobilizes and captures the imagination of the public as much,” Mike Tidwell, president of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, recently told a gathering of green-energy financiers meeting in the District. “In offshore wind, you’ve got a solution that strikes the average person as sufficient to the scale of the problem. You’ve got something visionary, something large, something that looks and feels like the future.”