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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

April 27, 2016

Senate to pass energy and water bill, avoid tough amendments

George Cahlink, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2016-04-27 06:48:13

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) yesterday evening announced a cloture vote would be held at 11 a.m. today to limit debate on the measure and move to final passage. Invoking cloture would require 60 votes, a threshold likely to be reached for the generally bipartisan bill. Earlier yesterday, the Senate backed two relatively benign amendments boosting wind energy and Western water resources.
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Senate boosts spending for wind energy, Western water

Hannah Hess, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2016-04-27 05:06:09

By a 54-42 vote, the Senate adopted an amendment by Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) to add $95 million for wind energy to the $37.5 billion spending bill. The amendment would restore funding to current levels after appropriators had proposed shaving $15 million from the account. “We have sometimes heard that wind is a mature industry, and [that] is why the funding for research should be revoked or lowered,” Merkley said, urging support. “But, in fact, as wind is emerging, we’re seeing continuous innovations that are resulting in different designs and different strategies for integrating intermittent wind energy into the grid.” Grassley said yesterday that he found it “amusing” that some of the strongest opponents of wind energy are the biggest proponents of research and development investments for “costly … mature, traditional energy sources” [ read more … ]

Merkley-Grassley wind energy amendment passes Senate

Office of Oregon Semator Jeff Merkley  •    •  Posted 2016-04-27 05:06:35

The United States Senate passed a bipartisan amendment sponsored by Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) that restores funding for wind energy research and development (R&D). Specifically, the Merkley-Grassley amendment restores funding for wind energy research to $95.4 million, the same level as in FY16. The initial draft of the FY17 Energy and Water Appropriations bill had contained a $15.4 million cut to the program, to just $80 million.
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Senate Passes Grassley Co-sponsored Amendment to Restore Wind Energy Research Funding

Office of Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley  •    •  Posted 2016-04-27 05:06:57

“Wind energy is popular wherever it’s given a chance,” Grassley said. “New technology enables all kinds of renewable energy to advance. Research funding promotes the next wave of development. Wind energy deserves fair treatment among government support for different energy sources. This amendment gives wind energy the attention it deserves.” [ read more … ]

Getting Cheap Wind Power Where It’s Needed Shouldn’t Be This Hard

By Richard Martin, MIT Technology Review  •    •  Posted 2016-04-27 05:07:35

The wind power industry had another banner year in 2015, and the outlook for the future is strong. The U.S. Department of Energy’s national wind-power plan calls for wind to supply 20 percent of the country’s electricity by 2030, up from less than 5 percent today. There’s one major obstacle in the industry’s path, though: much of that electricity is generated in remote, windswept areas of the Great Plains, and the transmission system to send it to market doesn’t exist. Getting power from wind farms in Wyoming, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Iowa to the populous cities to the east and west has proven far more difficult than wind developers envisioned a few years ago. [ read more … ]

As wind turbines boom, nature doesn’t cooperate

By James Osborne, Houston Chroncile  •    •  Posted 2016-04-27 05:08:01

Last year might have been a banner year for wind turbine construction, but not for the wind itself. According to new data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the amount of electricity generated from wind turbines grew by less than 10 million megawatt hours last year, the smallest increase since 2007. In a report Thursday government analysts attributed the slow down to decreased wind speeds across the western half of the United States during the first six months of 2015. [ read more … ]

Note: News clips provided do not necessarily reflect the views of coalition or its member governors.