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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

February 27, 2017

Coal Industry Casts Itself as a Clean Energy Player

By CLIFFORD KRAUSS, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2017-02-27 04:35:45

Seeking to shore up their struggling industry, the coal producers are voicing greater concern about greenhouse gas emissions. Their goal is to frame a new image for coal as a contributor, not an obstacle, to a clean-energy future — an image intended to foster their legislative agenda. Executives of the three companies — Cloud Peak Energy, Peabody Energy and Arch Coal — are going so far as to make common cause with some of their harshest critics, including the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Clean Air Task Force. Together, they are lobbying for a tax bill to expand government subsidies to reduce the environmental impact of coal burning. [ read more … ]

Wind Reference from Buffett’s 2016 letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders

By Steve Jordan, Omaha World Herald  •    •  Posted 2017-02-27 04:36:29

Both Berkshire Hathaway Energy and BNSF Railway have been leaders in pursuing planet-friendly technology. In wind generation, no state comes close to rivaling Iowa, where last year the megawatt-hours we generated from wind equaled 55 percent of all megawatt-hours sold to our Iowa retail customers. New wind projects that are underway will take that figure to 89 percent by 2020. [ read more … ]

Exxon’s New Chief Endorses Carbon Tax to Combat Climate Change

By Joe Carroll, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2017-02-27 04:36:51

In his first blog post since succeeding Rex Tillerson, the new head of Exxon Mobil Corp. focused on climate change, calling for a carbon tax to discourage use of polluting fuels. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Darren Woods said a revenue-neutral carbon tax “would promote greater energy efficiency and the use of today’s lower-carbon options, avoid further burdening the economy, and also provide incentives for markets to develop additional low-carbon energy solutions for the future.”
[ read more … ]

California lawmakers release environmental bills in attempt to thwart Trump

By Rory Carroll, Reuters  •    •  Posted 2017-02-27 04:37:16

Democratic state senators in California on Thursday unveiled a series of bills designed to freeze in place Obama administration-era environmental regulations in the event the Trump administration moves to weaken them. The bills, collectively known as the “Preserve California” package, aim to make existing federal clean air, water, and endangered species laws enforceable under state law and protect federal lands in the state from being sold to oil companies. [ read more … ]

Lamar Smith takes on the clean energy agenda

By James Osborne, Houston Chronicle  •    •  Posted 2017-02-27 04:37:49

Building the new energy economy,” the U.S. Energy Department still proclaims on its Twitter feed. But with Barack Obama out of the White House, a coalition of conservative politicians led by San Antonio Congressman Lamar Smith, the powerful chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, is pressing to overhaul a system they say allows the government, rather than the market, to decide the future of the country’s energy industry in a bid to create a new low-carbon economy. Instead, Smith’s coalition of Republican politicians wants to cut funding for energy efficiency and renewable energy research. They’re questioning a program from the George W. Bush era that backs loans for advanced energy projects that can’t find financing in the private secto [ read more … ]

Corporate Tax Reform: What The Power Industry Needs To Know

By Paul Maxwell, Forbes  •    •  Posted 2017-02-27 04:38:26

Renewable resource owners and investors in particular would be affected by the proposed tax reform due to most renewable plants’ heavy reliance on Federal Tax Credits and the accelerated depreciation of tax benefits in the capital structure. Currently, an entity with significant income tax exposure will often participate in a renewable project as a tax-equity investor to absorb these tax benefits in lieu of cash. With a reduction of the income tax rate to 20%, the value of investing in renewables for these tax-equity investors is significantly depressed. This could lead to a reduction in tax-equity supply and therefore an increase in tax-equity cost and cost of capital. This is somewhat offset by the full deductibility of capital investment (e.g., 100% depreciation in year 1), but again, that value is discounted by the reduction in the tax rate. [ read more … ]

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