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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

October 8, 2014

Citing IRS warning, Wyden urges quick lame-duck vote on ‘extenders’

Nick Juliano, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2014-10-08 07:14:18

Senate Finance Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) is calling for Congress to quickly extend dozens of expired tax breaks when it reconvenes next month, citing a letter from the head of the IRS warning that the agency may have to delay processing tax returns if Congress does not act one way or another by December. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen does not take a position on whether the package of tax breaks, collectively known as “tax extenders,” should be extended. But he says that Congress should decide one way or another within a couple of weeks of its scheduled return in November. [ read more … ]

Warren Buffett’s Big Bet on Renewables in Nevada

By FELICITY BARRINGER, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2014-10-08 06:55:10

“This is not a value play,” said Christine Tezak, managing director of research at ClearView Energy Partners, referring to Mr. Buffett’s normally conservative investing approach. “He’s looking at this as a way to participate in the structural shift taking place in the power and energy industry.”

In the short term, the transition is going to mean construction of many renewable power plants in Nevada. Around sunbaked Las Vegas, these have been solar plants. Further north, they have been geothermal plants. They help make Nevada, a state whose energy was largely coal-fired 10 years ago, a good fit for the Environmental Protection Agency’s pending rulediscouraging coal-fired plants. “The goal of the rule was to send a small market signal to the utilities of the direction they should move in,” said Jared Blumenfeld, the director of E.P.A.’s Region 9, which covers the Southwest and Hawaii. Existing state mandates, he said, ensured that “in some cases they were already moving in that direction.” [ read more … ]

California drought sparks competition between natural gas, renewables

By Platts  •    •  Posted 2014-10-08 06:55:35

The EIA added that in addition to the increase in gas-fired power, wind and solar generation are also playing an increasingly significant role in California’s generation mix. For the first time, wind generation surpassed hydropower generation in California, doing so in February and March of this year. Renewable generation might be seen as the big winner in the competition to capture the share of the generation market that hydropower has lost as a result of the drought, said Kaitlin Meese, an analyst with Platts unit Bentek. [ read more … ]

California’s Drought is Decimating Hydropower—Guess What’s Taking Its Place

By Taylor Hill, TakePart  •    •  Posted 2014-10-08 06:55:52

California typically gets about 20 percent of its power from hydroelectric plants, but that number is at a 10-year low, with dams producing only about 10 percent of the state’s power this year. That’s left an energy gap for natural gas-fueled power plants to fill—and they have. Though natural gas is considered less of a bane to the climate than coal because it produces less carbon dioxide when burned, it is itself a greenhouse gas—and more potent than CO2, although shorter-lived in the atmosphere. [ read more … ]

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