Articles filed under Taxes & Subsidies from Washington

Wind energy gets blown away by shifting patterns in the West

The government's Energy Information Administration detailed the findings earlier this month in a study that showed falling wind energy production in California, Oregon and Washington state — typically known as a bastion for clean energy development. The agency didn't say how the wind energy slump would affect the electric grid, but it did say it could hinder wind farms from taking advantage of a key federal tax subsidy and harm their economic viability. Clean energy companies rely on the subsidy to fund projects. ...Even small changes in wind speed can dramatically reduce electricity output from wind turbines.
20 Aug 2015

Winds of change blowing through wind power industry

Californians don't want Washington state's electricity as much as they used to. In 2011, the California Legislature passed laws that encourage utilities to generate most of their renewable power from within the state. That left up to $5 billion worth of proposed projects for Washington and Oregon suddenly without investors. ...The price of natural gas has been low, making renewable energy such as solar and wind less attractive.
3 Mar 2013

Washington set to limit wind energy tax break

In a special session that begins today, Washington's legislature will consider limiting current tax exemptions to wind equipment owned by or generating power for in-state utilities. Washington state governor Chris Gregoire called the special session in an attempt to agree measures to address the state's $2.8 billion budget gap.
15 Mar 2010

Cap-and-trade schemes could hurt families and send jobs overseas

Cap-and-trade schemes could hurt families and send jobs overseas The recently passed U.S. House bill to create a cap-and-trade system to tackle greenhouse-gas emissions threatens to hurt families and send jobs out of the country, argues Washington state Rep. Shelly Short, R-Addy. In Washington state, the definition of 'green jobs' is ill defined.
6 Aug 2009

Whose stimulus? Buy local with tax dollars

But what are our tax dollars buying? In Utah, $79 million is being spent on improving drinking water. School districts in Georgia are receiving $660 million. Nebraska received $1 million to maintain national wildlife refuges. But what about Washington? In particular, will our tax dollars help build the Desert Claim Wind Power Project in Kittitas County?
30 Apr 2009

Seattle City Light Wants You to "Green Up" by Paying Extra

You already drink shade-grown coffee, drive a Prius, and shop strictly organic at PCC. So naturally you're the best kind of customer-indeed a captive customer-for the ad blitz Seattle City Light has recently devised for its two-year-old "Green Up" program. Your latest billing envelopes have encouraged you to Green Up by adding a voluntary premium of as much as $12 to your monthly bill. For what purpose? To buy an amount of wind power equal to a percentage of your household's usage of cheap hydropower. "Participating in the Green Up program demonstrates your preference and support for clean energy and a healthy environment in the Northwest," says the city's Web site. "It helps promote economic development in rural parts of the region, improves our energy security, and reduces pollution." Really?
1 Aug 2007

Windmill tax break may be extended

A tax break that has helped spur the development of windmill farms in Washington state could be extended for five years as part of the new Senate energy bill, Sen. Maria Cantwell said Wednesday. But the ability to carry that power from turbines in some of the wind-swept regions of the Northwest to the customers who need it isn't part of the proposal at this time.
14 Jun 2007

Cowlitz PUD OKs wind farm deal

Cowlitz PUD commissioners Wednesday OK’d a multiparty deal ensuring that a $361 million central Washington wind farm, large enough to supply 38,000 homes with electricity, will be financed with private money. Three years in the making and involving lawyers from coast-to-coast, the groundbreaking transaction will mean an investment group formed by Prudential Insurance and Lehman Brothers will own a wind farm conceived by the PUD and three other utilities. The investors aren’t interested in wind turbines, but they are interested in federal tax deductions available to private investors in environmentally friendly wind farms, said Alan Dashen, a financial consultant hired by the PUD to arrange the deal.
28 Dec 2006

Wash. voters approve renewable energy initiative

Large utility companies will have to increase their renewable energy sources to 15 percent of their supply by 2020 under an initiative approved by Washington voters. Under Initiative 937, utilities with more than 25,000 customers would have to meet 15 percent of their annual load with resources such as wind power, solar energy or sewage gas by 2020. With about 65 percent of the expected vote counted Thursday, I-937 passed with about 52 percent of the vote, or 697,133 votes. About 48 percent, or 647,572, voted against the measure.
10 Nov 2006

Initiatives defy geography

Voters picked their way through four statewide ballot measures with an independence that defied easy assumptions about political geography...... Washington voters were all over the map in supporting the renewable-energy proposal, Initiative 937. If the measure, passing with 52 percent, becomes law, utilities will have to derive 15 percent of their energy portfolio from renewables by 2020 or face fines.
9 Nov 2006

Clean vs. dirty is only part of renewable energy debate

The slogans are simple: Clean wind energy or coal-powered plants polluting the planet. Higher electrical bills or utilities free to save ratepayers money. In the muddle of initiatives and measures that clutter the Nov. 7 ballots, those for and against Initiative 937 are hoping to persuade voters with these basic concepts. But that’s only the tip of the wind turbine.
30 Oct 2006

I-937 foes far behind in campaign fundraising

Supporters of Initiative 937, the renewable energy measure on the Nov. 7 ballot, have out-raised their opponents by a 4-to-1 margin heading into the final two weeks of the campaign, according to the state Public Disclosure Commission. Washingtonians for Cleaner Cheaper Energy had collected $1.52 million and spent $1.46 million as of Oct. 10, while No on I 937 had raised $372,615 and spent $67,785. Leading the pro-initiative campaign funding is the Sierra Club and its political action committee with combined in-kind contributions of more than $132,000. The initiative addresses two of the Sierra Club’s top priorities, which are air quality and public health, said Sierra Club associate regional representative Shannon Harps.
24 Oct 2006

Mandates of I-937 a burden for consumers of electricity

The state's utilities, which are funded by ratepayers, are already seeking alternative energy sources because it's good business. The Pacific Northwest, with it's clean, inexpensive electric power created by the dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers, is the envy of the nation. Why then should it be necessary to approve Initiative 937, which mandates that the larger utilities in Washington state obtain 15 percent of their power from other clean, renewable sources? It's not. This state is already ahead of the nation.
19 Oct 2006

In Our View - ‘No’ on Initiative 937

Everyone, especially every energy company, loves renewable energy, but the conversion should occur as market conditions dictate, not forced by government in ways that lead to higher energy prices....... Another reason to reject I-937 is this glaring flaw: It does not include hydropower with wind and solar as a “renewable source.” It’s impossible to envision the inexorable flow of water through turbines at our state’s dams as anything but renewable.
17 Oct 2006
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