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Congress Should Extend the Production Tax Credit, Develop a Long-Term Alternative

April 8 -- Last week, the Senate Finance Committee addressed several expiring tax provisions, including the production tax credit for wind energy. Although this provision has been extended multiple times with broad bipartisan support since 1992, it is one of several energy policies that have become unnecessarily politicized.

Fortunately, bipartisanship returned at the Finance Committee markup on April 3. Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Sen. Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, who was the original author of the PTC, brought their colleagues together to support an extension through the end of next year. The full Senate and the House should pass that bill. >>View Article

Study: Green Energy Drawing Investment Worldwide

April 8 -- Renewable energy is generating a greater share of the world’s electricity than ever before, as costs fall and profitability rises, according to a report released Monday.

“The fact that renewable energy is gaining a bigger share of overall generation globally is encouraging,” said Achim Steiner, the U.N. under-secretary-general and executive director of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).

“To support this further, we must re-evaluate investment priorities, shift incentives, build capacity and improve governance structures.” >>View Article

These Guys Get Paid to Play the Claw All Day

April 8 -- Remember the arcade Claw game, where you steer and drop a mechanical claw for a (negligible) chance to win a 10-cent stuffed animal? Well, that's what these guys get to do all day.

With crane-sized claws. And instead of taking home the "prize," they get to set it on fire.

The picture above is a window into the Waste-to-Energy industry (known in the biz as WTE), where cities, towns and private companies are turning trash into electricity. >>View Article

Boise-Based U.S. Geothermal Inc. to Buy California Geyser Projects

April 8 -- Boise-based U.S. Geothermal Inc. announced it will buy Ram Power Corp's geyser geothermal electricity operations in Sonoma County, Calif., for $6.4 million.

The purchase included Ram Power subsidiaries Western Geopower Inc., Skyline Geothermal Holdings Inc. and Etoile Holdings Inc. Those subsidiaries in turn own Mayacamas Energy LLC and Skyline Geothermal LLC. >>View Article

Western Seeks Transmission Project Interest

April 7 -- As part of its Transmission Infrastructure Program, the Western Area Power Administration seeks new applications from project developers interested in obtaining a loan from Western to construct new or upgraded transmission lines and related facilities that promote the delivery of clean, renewable power. >>View Article

Ohioans Benefit From Energy Mandates

April 7 -- A popular renewable-energy law was passed almost unanimously in the Ohio House and Senate in 2008. Senate Bill 221 was created to ensure that Ohio would work toward receiving 12.5 percent of its power from renewable sources and 12.5 percent from energy efficiency by 2024.

So far, customers of American Electric Power have saved more than $1 billion, and projections are that they will save even more by 2020.

SB 221 has proven to be highly worthwhile in terms of saving money through energy-efficiency standards, and it’s one of the few bipartisan laws that truly has had a positive impact on the monthly budgets of Ohio families. Why would anyone want to change it? >>View Article

Wind Power Has Cut U.S. Carbon Dioxide Emissions by 4.4 Percent: Report

April 7 -- The growth of wind power in the United States is putting a significant dent in emissions, according to a forthcoming report from the American Wind Energy Association. Wind generation avoided 95.6 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2013, which is equivalent to taking 16.9 million cars off the road.

That's a 4.4 percent cut to power sector emissions, when compared to the level of emissions that would have been generated if that power had come from fossil fuels. Wind proponents say that's evidence that the wind industry is playing a major role in meeting U.S. emissions goals. "Every time a megawatt of wind power is generated, something else is not generated," said Elizabeth Salerno, AWEA's vice president for industry data and analysis. >>View Article

Environmental Group's Report Comes Under Fire After Citing Bucksport Mill as One of Dozens of ?Dirty? Biomass Plants

April 7 -- In the wake of a report publicly released April 2 about biomass-burning power generators, some are criticizing the report and others are defending the use of biofuels as a comparatively “clean” and sustainable technology.

The report from the Partnership for Policy Integrity examines emissions from biomass-burning power generators and criticizes government policies that promote the technology. It claims permitted emissions from biomass-burning facilities such as one at the local Verso Paper mill that began operating in 2012 are “dirtier” than those permitted at modern coal plants. >>View Article

Opinion: Moving to Clean, Renewable Energy Would Mitigate Both Climate Change, Pollution

April 7 -- In the recent report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), climate scientists state that growing evidence has caused them to raise the certainty of man-made climate change to 95 percent. Though some people cling stubbornly to any sliver of uncertainty about climate change, 95 percent certainty is quite high for a cautious, conservative institution like science.

Politicians and the general public finally are starting to face the stark reality and the urgent need to take action to mitigate the dangers of climate change. While welcoming this development, I can’t help but be uneasy about what’s come to be a narrow focus on climate change and a widespread failure to see the bigger picture of man’s place in the natural world and the many ways we are degrading its vital but delicate life support systems.  >>View Article

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