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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

December 18, 2014

Biodiesel, wind energy to benefit (briefly) from tax breaks

Christopher Doering, Des Moines Register  •    •  Posted 2014-12-18 06:57:30

The wind and biofuel industries in Iowa will benefit modestly from a $41 billion package of tax breaks passed by the Senate late Tuesday, but only through the end of 2014. President Barack Obama is expected to sign the package of nearly 50 tax breaks, which passed by a vote of 76-16. The legislation would reinstate production tax credits for wind power, cellulosic ethanol and a $1-a-gallon credit that helps the biodiesel industry for a year. But the tax breaks, which are retroactive to when they expired at the beginning of the year, will be in place for only about two more weeks, providing little assistance to groups and producers in Iowa. [ read more … ]

Supporters decry short tax break extension for wind industry

By Laura Barron-Lopez, The  •    •  Posted 2014-12-18 06:59:20

Senators expressed little pleasure in voting for what they called the least bad option on Tuesday. “This two-week extenders bill represents another low point in the world of dysfunctional Washington politics,” said Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.). “This bill does little to help families and businesses in Colorado, particularly our wind energy industry. Waiting until now to extend the wind PTC — and only for two weeks — generates nothing but more uncertainty for these businesses that employ thousands of Coloradans,” Bennet added. [ read more … ]

Nebraska Seeks to Export Wind Energy

by Joanna Schroeder, Domestic Fuel  •    •  Posted 2014-12-18 06:57:53

“Nebraska has some of the best wind in the country but a surprisingly low amount of wind generation installed and under development,” said Brattle principal Judy Chang, a co-author of the study. “Nebraska policy makers and legislators have been working to increase the attractiveness of the state to renewable energy developers. They have already reduced some barriers, including those related to limiting public power condemnation rights. We anticipate that Nebraska policy makers will consider the options laid out in our report to make decisions about further improving the economics and regulatory setting for renewable development.” [ read more … ]

Study: Your all-electric car may not be so green

By Seth Borenstein, AP Science Writer  •    •  Posted 2014-12-18 06:58:12

People who own all-electric cars where coal generates the power may think they are helping the environment. But a new study finds their vehicles actually make the air dirtier, worsening global warming. Ethanol isn’t so green, either. “It’s kind of hard to beat gasoline” for public and environmental health, said study co-author Julian Marshall, an engineering professor at the University of Minnesota. “A lot of the technologies that we think of as being clean … are not better than gasoline.” [ read more … ]

Inslee targets polluters with billion-dollar cap-and-trade plan

By Jim Brunner and Hal Bernton, Seattle Times staff reporters  •    •  Posted 2014-12-18 06:58:38

Gov. Jay Inslee on Wednesday laid out an ambitious plan for cutting Washington’s carbon emissions that would vault the state to the forefront of global efforts to combat climate change. The sweeping proposal drew cheers from a crowd of environmentalists, labor leaders and other supporters on hand for Inslee’s climate-plan unveiling at Seattle’s flagship REI store. But a tougher crowd waits in Olympia. Republicans and some business groups are already mustering opposition to Inslee’s cap-and-trade plan, which would put a price on the greenhouse gases spewed not only from large industrial plants but also car and truck tail pipes and electric utilities. [ read more … ]

Wash. Gov. Inslee proposes carbon fee to pay for transportation projects 

Nathanael Massey, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2014-12-18 06:58:59

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) wants to rebuild his state’s transportation infrastructure and plans to charge carbon emitters in order to come up with the funds. The governor is rolling out a proposed state budget in stages this week and is expected to speak to the design and implementation of a state carbon fee today. But details released about funding for the transportation sector yesterday indicate that about a third of the $12 billion needed to rebuild roads and bridges would come from a fee levied on the state’s biggest polluters. It’s transportation pollution paying for transportation choices,” Inslee said, speaking at the proposal’s release. [ read more … ]

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