Tax Breaks & Subsidies
Attacking global climate change was at the top of lawmakers' agenda Wednesday, but they had mixed success in making progress on their marquee issue.
Two key House committees were at odds about how to tax wind energy projects, arguing throughout the day and slowing action on a larger bill designed to promote renewable energy.
But a third House committee advanced another provision of the initiative, which its advocates said would address one of the state's largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions: car and truck exhausts.
The Electricity Freedom Act, adopted by the council's board of directors in October, would repeal state standards requiring utilities to get a portion of their electricity from renewable power, calling it "essentially a tax on consumers of electricity." In the absence of federal climate legislation, these initiatives have become the subject of intense political battles.
TWO wind farms worth a total of $550 million have been shelved and another worth $250 million is at risk because of a lack of support from the Federal Government, a developer says.
SPANISH FORK, Utah (AP) -- A proposed wind farm could be in jeopardy because Utah no longer offers a renewable energy tax credit that Wasatch Winds officials say is needed for the project to be successful.
Cascade County commissioners on Tuesday approved a tax break for United Material's Horseshoe Bend wind facility, the state's second largest wind farm located outside of Great Falls.
Approval came over the objections of union heads, who said United shouldn't qualify for a tax break because it did not pay all of the workers on the wind farm project prevailing wages.
United Materials countered that prevailing wages were offered for the vast majority of the work. ...Horseshoe Bend, which was completed in 2006, was the second commercial-scale wind facility completed in Montana, behind the 135-megawatt farm in Judith Gap.
The approval of the tax break followed a public hearing on the tax break request. Three union representatives spoke against it.
Pecos County Commissioner for Precinct 3 Jay Kent speculated aloud about how much money the county was losing, but after a discussion the Commissioners Court approved unanimously Monday a tax abatement for the Sherbino II Wind Farm LLC, a development venture of British Petroleum Alternative Energy.
The court approved the agreement with amendments. One removes a clause that requires an invoice be sent to BP each year, placing the onus for payment by Jan. 31 of each year of the abatement upon BP; the second specifies a public notice to other taxing entities.
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The three elected commissioners asked First Wind officials on Wednesday night to provide them at future meetings with information about the number of jobs that could be created. They also wanted to know whether the creation of a tax-incremental financing district would cause the county as a whole to lose revenue.
Young County commissioners will continue to discuss a potential wind farm in northern Young County during a regular meeting of commissioners court at 9:30 a.m. Monday at the county courthouse.
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Unless county commissions take a hard line on taxing wind energy production, local governments will lose the ability to recover the impacts of this growing industry, Natrona County commissioners said Tuesday.
Creating a new 30 (M) million dollar grant program to develop renewable energy technology gets the ax from the Legislature's budget-writing committee Thursday.
Governor Doyle wanted grant money for companies and researchers that develop solar power and other renewable energy technologies.
Filibusters in the Nebraska Legislature can't compare with the wind blowing through Boone County fields east of here.
New wind maps prove what many Boone County residents have known for years - the wind really does blow harder and more often in these hills.
Now, with a wind farm being proposed for the Petersburg area, that wind could become another crop to be harvested and put some extra cash in farmers' pockets.
Jim Jenkins, Nebraska representative for Third Planet Windpower of Bad Axe, Mich., stresses that the company is still in the early phases of negotiations and discussion with regard to "the business structure' for its proposed investment of up to $170 million in a wind farm east of here.
District Superintendent Christina Gutierrez said the school board has opposed tax incentives because economic losses from military cutbacks or closures could outweigh gains from the wind farm. The Kingsville base employed 597 military and 1,224 civilian personnel in 2010.
KTVO has discovered a conflict of interest in the Sullivan County wind project.
Commissioner James Howard is on the list of landowners that stand to profit financially from having a wind mill on their property. Plus, KTVO has obtained an eight-pages of document show that Howard and his wife Linda signed a lease option agreement on the Shuteye Creek Wind Project.
Howard confirmed that he has an interest in the project.
Over the past few years, wind energy has experienced a tremendous, if precariously fragile, boom.
Last year alone, wind-power capacity jumped 21 percent in the United States. Wind is now one of the country's fastest-growing electricity sources, buoyed by strong consumer demand, mounting concerns about fossil fuels, and-perhaps most notable-vital government support.
But uncertainty about key federal tax credits threatens to knock the wind out of the wind-power industry.
To the disappointment of many Silicon Valley companies, partisan politics in Congress on Tuesday continued to block the extension of tax credits for renewable energy and research and development.
The Senate voted 50-44 - 10 votes short of the total needed - to close debate and take a final vote on a package of tax credits for solar, wind, geothermal and other renewable energy producers, which are due to expire at the end of the year.
The bill also would reinstate R&D tax credits that expired at the end of 2007.
In Tuesday's report, the congressional committee questioned whether the technology employed in the Record Hill project was sufficiently innovative to qualify for loan guarantees, and whether loan guarantees were even necessary given the strong credit rating of Yale University, one of the project partners.
Forty-seven Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives are pushing Speaker John Boehner to eliminate the wind production tax credit, a tax break that has split Republicans and drawn criticism from presidential hopeful Mitt Romney.
DENVER -- Concerns about the constitutionality of a bill aimed at luring wind farms to northeast Colorado forced Sen. Greg Brophy, R-Wray, to postpone a final Senate vote Thursday.
The National Consumer Council and the consumer watchdog, energywatch, today call on Britain’s household energy suppliers to be more honest and upfront about their ‘green’ tariffs – and to spell out clearly what the environmental benefits really are.
The call comes as NCC publishes an investigation into the environmental credentials of green tariffs on offer in this country. NCC’s research shows that while many consumers say they’re happy to pay a premium for green energy, most green tariffs don’t live up to the environmental benefits claimed.
Renewable energy advocates are providing consumers with ways to lend their financial support to the cause.
Renewable energy certificates, also called “green tags,” are being sold across the United States by several companies that produce alternative energy. Some of these companies own wind farms; others own a variety of renewable energy sources.
Customers of the Boone Electric Cooperative will soon be able to purchase renewable energy certificates for electricity from the Bluegrass Ridge wind farm in northwest Missouri.
The certificates come in 100 kilowatt-hour blocks, and cost $2 more per block than conventional electricity. Al Lynch, assistant manager of Boone Electric Cooperative, said most members use an average of 1,100 kilowatt-hours of electricity per month. Replacing all that electricity with wind power would cost an extra $22 per month, he said.