Maine Senate front-runner has long history with conservation, renewables

Source: Jennifer Yachnin, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, March 19th, 2012

“Do you want the story of how I got rich and ran for governor? It’s kind of a funny story.” That’s how former Maine Gov. Angus King, in a 2009 interview, described his entry into the world of energy conservation in the late 1980s — a decision that would ultimately make him millions of dollars and pave the way for his successful 1994 gubernatorial bid.

S.D. Governor vetoes wind energy refund bill

KSFY • Posted: Monday, March 19th, 2012

Governor Dennis Daugaard has vetoed a bill that sought to refund about half the construction taxes for large wind energy projects and an environmental upgrade at Big Stone Power Plant.

GOP poised to tussle over Obama admin’s power agenda

Source: Hannah Northey • E&E • Posted: Monday, March 19th, 2012

The Obama administration’s plan to use power marketing administrations to upgrade the transmission grid and bolster renewables and cybersecurity is likely to meet stiff opposition from Republicans on a House Natural Resources subcommittee this week. Officials from four federal power administrations, the U.S. Geological Survey and the Bureau of Reclamation are scheduled to testify before the House Water and Power Subcommittee tomorrow about President Obama’s fiscal 2013 budget request.

Power administrations must lead in grid upgrades — Chu

Source: Hannah Northey, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, March 19th, 2012

The Obama administration announced plans today to use federal power marketing administrations to lead the way in upgrading the transmission grid, bolster renewables and serve as “test beds” for new cybersecurity technologies. Energy Secretary Steven Chu outlined the strategy in a memo on how the organizations can leverage partnerships, rate-making power and financing to upgrade transmission and install new technologies to make the system more reliable, secure and accessible for renewable power generators.

Obama Defends Energy Policy, Hitting Back at Presidential Candidates

Source: MARK LANDLER • New York Times • Posted: Friday, March 16th, 2012

In what has become a weekly ritual, President Obama on Thursday defended his administration’s energy policy, in the face of relentlessly rising gasoline prices, to an American public that believes he can do more to ease the pain at the pump. Mr. Obama cycled through now-familiar themes, promoting his record of increased domestic oil and gas production; stricter fuel-efficiency standards for cars and trucks; and investments in alternative sources of energy, like biofuels, wind and solar power. The administration’s energy policy has been the focus of many speeches the president has given in recent weeks.

Bipartisan Senate bill would extend production tax credit through 2014

Source: Nick Juliano • E&E • Posted: Friday, March 16th, 2012

After the Senate rejected a measure this week to extend federal incentives for energy development on a largely party-line vote, a bipartisan group of senators is floating a narrower bill to extend a coveted tax break through the end of 2014.
The legislation proposed yesterday would extend for two years the wind-energy production tax credit, which provides project developers a tax deduction of 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour. With the credit scheduled to expire Dec. 31, the wind industry has spent several months lobbying for an extension, arguing that the project pipeline will dry up if companies can’t count on the PTC being there next year.

ON THE RECORD: How Senators Voted on Wind Energy Tax Credits

Off Shore Wind Wire • Posted: Thursday, March 15th, 2012

On Thursday, March 8, Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow introduced an amendment to a transportation bill (S.1813) that would have extended the production tax credit for the wind energy industry. Renewable energy advocates have said the tax credit is crucial to keep the industry moving and to allow the emergence of an offshore wind industry.

Chu opens the door to phaseout of wind incentive

Source: Nick Juliano • E&E • Posted: Thursday, March 15th, 2012

A day after the Senate declined to extend an array of federal incentives for renewable energy development, the Obama administration’s top energy official signaled an openness to eventually eliminating support for some wind energy because it is nearly competitive with conventional generation. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said he and other administration officials, including White House energy adviser Heather Zichal, met Tuesday with representatives of the wind industry and other energy sectors on the topic of tax incentives and other subsidies. He said that during the meeting a wind industry official, whom he did not name, expressed a willingness to eventually phase out the production tax credit, even though the industry is aggressively lobbying to have that credit extended beyond its scheduled December expiration.

Senate approves reauthorization bill after grueling floor debate

Source: Jason Plautz • E&E • Posted: Thursday, March 15th, 2012

The Senate voted 74-22 today to clear a two-year bill that would reauthorize U.S. transportation programs in a bipartisan vote, ending months of work and five weeks of floor action.

Stabenow’s green-energy tax break plan falls short

Source: Josiah Ryan and Ben Geman • The Hill • Posted: Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

The Senate on Tuesday rejected plans to extend a host of lapsed or soon-to-expire tax breaks for renewable fuels and power sources.