USA or Maine
The town is poised to become Maine’s first municipality to enact guidelines aimed at eliminating adverse impacts allegedly caused by industrial wind sites, Town Manager Dale Morris said Wednesday.
Intended for First Wind’s $120 million wind-to-energy facility proposed for Oakfield Hills, the guidelines set a post-construction protocol for noise complaints and require post-construction sound monitoring, Morris said. They also require First Wind to fix problems that occur, he said.
A town committee will release recommendations for a proposed $120 million wind-to-energy facility on Oakfield Hills that, if implemented, will make the town a standard-bearer among communities with wind sites, the town manager said Tuesday.
The Oakfield Wind Farm Review Committee has worked since mid-June reviewing the mammoth application submitted by First Wind of Massachusetts.
The Maine Department of Environmental Protection's approval is the project's final state regulatory hurdle, though a local group opposing the project is expected to file a civil court appeal. The project still needs a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit.
The turbines, positioned just so to harness the wind, are dead in the path of hawks, yellow-billed cuckoos, wood thrushes and other migrating birds. On one night last September, Mount Storm turbines killed 59 birds when a light was left on in one of the towers.
The Obama administration thinks Sen. Chuck Schumer can't see the wind farms for the turbines. The New York Democrat doesn't want taxpayer funds spent to ship jobs to China.
The disagreement between the two camps stems from Schumer's insistence that money from the $787 billion stimulus bill should not subsidize wind energy plants in the U.S. if they create more jobs in other countries than they do here.
"The Obama Administration has failed to protect three popular national park sites in New Jersey and Pennsylvania with today's decision to include the controversial Susquehanna-Roseland power line project on its list of fast-tracked transmission projects," said Bryan Faehner, the National Parks Conservation Association's associate director for park uses.
With a decision possibly looming in the weeks ahead, the proposal to build the country's first offshore wind farm in Nantucket Sound could face another delay.
Earlier this month, U.S. Sen. Paul Kirk, temporarily filling the seat held by the late Edward M. Kennedy, sent a letter to President Obama urging that any decision on the proposed 130 turbine wind farm in Nantucket Sound be delayed until a national policy on ocean management and planning is in place.
The wind farm sites are all in or near restricted airspace at the Naval Weapons Systems Training Facility in Boardman, Ore. ...The interagency Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States initially recommended against allowing the transaction in July. But only the president can halt an acquisition.
Obama ordered Ralls Corp., a company owned by Chinese nationals, to divest its interest in development rights for the small wind farms -- with just five turbines each --near the Naval Weapons Systems Training Facility. ...Ralls said it would lose the chance for $25 million in federal renewable energy investment tax incentives if the farms weren't running by Dec. 31.
Barack Obama said he had decided that Ralls, the company behind the project, "might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States," and ordered it to sell its four sites and remove its equipment.
Republicans who control the House of Representatives have criticized Obama's clean-energy initiatives as wasteful boondoggles, pointing to the high-profile bankruptcies of companies like solar-panel maker Solyndra that benefited from federal backing.
But the budget proposal signals that clean energy will remain a priority for Obama in his second term in office.
President Barack Obama must fight to defend rules cutting global-warming emissions that some lawmakers have vowed to block, said Frances Beinecke, head of the Natural Resources Defense Council. ...The administration is facing lawsuits over the pending rules.
Obama, more supportive of clean energy than George W. Bush, may struggle to shift quickly from coal-burning plants that spew global-warming gases. In Bush's last three years, solar and wind production doubled, helped by easier financing and tax breaks that attracted loans from Lehman, now bankrupt, and insurer American International Group Inc., later taken over by the government. ...Michael Morris, chief executive officer of American Electric Power Co., the biggest U.S. producer of electricity from coal, said "as a practical matter," Obama's target is too ambitious.
The wind energy fight has blossomed into more of a battle than many had expected - especially among Democrats. ...critics argue that this amounts to a cash entitlement for the producers and is too expensive for the public.
"Developers are racing to build wind turbines in the middle of Nowhere, USA, requiring extensive and expensive new transmission development, and we are not assured that the power generated will meet our load demands, given that wind typically produces off peak, at night, and in the winter," said Lisa Linowes of the Industrial Wind Action Group.
The structure of renewable production and investment tax credits has required many firms to invest in inefficient tax planning through tax equity structures so that they can benefit even when they do not have tax liability in a given year because of a lack of taxable income.
Just weeks into his presidency, President Barack Obama has moved right past the should-we-drill-offshore question and plunged into a new debate about how best to tap resources on the Outer Continental Shelf.
With the lifting of the moratorium against offshore drilling last year, some offshore drilling almost certainly will occur. But now the conversation has changed. Democrats in power talk about a more complex set of energy programs, which could include wind farms or ways to capture wind currents.
The results could have significant impact off the East Coast.
President Obama's plan for the Outer Continental Shelf does not include any new oil and gas leases in the Atlantic Ocean over the next five years, but it does include windmills.
The Interior Department wants to lease nearly 278,000 acres off the coasts of Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Virginia for wind energy.
President-elect Barack Obama's pledge to double alternative-energy production over the next three years drew a skeptical response Thursday from the chief executive of Exxon Mobil Corp., Rex Tillerson, who told reporters during an appearance in Washington that rapid increases in alternative energy would be "very challenging."
"Let's be realistic about time frames, let's don't fool ourselves," Mr. Tillerson said.