The Energy 202: House GOP needs to water down tax breaks for wind power. The Senate is unlikely to let it.



Cattle graze in a pasture close to a wind turbine in Adair, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

When the House took its first cross at overhauling the tax code, it despatched a chill by the swelling wind power sector.

Included within the authentic draft, perplexingly to wind lobbyists, was language revisiting a bipartisan compromise extending the tax break for working wind generators by 2019.

Two years in the past, Democrats gained an extension for wind and photo voltaic power tax credit as a part of an end-of-year tax and spending bundle. In change, Republicans received a years-long ban on oil exports lifted.

But as a part of its bid to revamp the tax construction, House Republicans determined to reopen that compromise, unilaterally. 

While their tax plan focused different breaks for photo voltaic and different renewable-electricity manufacturing, the potential modifications to the subsidies for wind power might have probably the most sweeping impact.

The House tax invoice would make it harder for companies seeking to construct wind generators from qualifying for a set of tax credit used to finance building of the behemoth towers and blades, which frequently have excessive upfront prices. Even for builders that do qualify, the invoice would trim the manufacturing tax credit score for wind from $24 to $15 per megawatt-hour.

Fortunately for the trade, the locations finest fitted to onshore wind power are concentrated within the Midwest and Great Plains — historically, rural strongholds for Republicans. Three GOP senators — Charles E. Grbadley (Iowa), John Thune (S.D.) and Dean Heller (Nev.) — have come ahead in opposition to altering the wind tax credit. 

“It shouldn’t be re-opened,” Grbadley stated in an announcement after the House invoice was launched. The tax proposal launched within the Senate, and being debated on the Senate Finance Committee on which Grbadley is a senior member, leaves the wind tax credit untouched.

Still, the specter of unwinding the tax breaks for wind has already spooked traders within the capital-intensive tasks.

“The uncertainty with the House bill is freezing the deals that are underway,” stated Tom Kiernan, chief government of the utility wind lobbying group American Wind Energy Association.

Even although the Senate appears unlikely to slash the wind tax breaks, the incentives might find yourself being a horse that is traded in convention as the 2 chambers hammer out the distinction of their proposals — ought to the tax overhaul ever get to that stage.

“The solar deals are moving forward but the wind deals — people are still working on them but they’re not closing,” stated Keith Martin co-head of U.S. tasks on the regulation agency Norton Rose Fulbright.

He added that he sees wind offers being delayed, though “nobody sees the whole market. All you can get is anecdotal evidence.”

If the House invoice handed, some wind mission already within the works — which the trade says totals $50 billion in funding over the previous two years — may not qualify for the tax break. 

An evaluation by Bloomberg New Energy Finance discovered that the House tax plan, if handed, would slash U.S. wind growth in half, from 38 gigawatts of latest wind energy by 2020 to solely 19 gigawatts. Similarly, Goldman Sachs badysts discovered that the market could be lowered by greater than half as properly below the House plan.

The United States isn’t alone globally in tightening its belt in relation to wind subsidies. European nations are too, which is placing a squeeze on turbine producers globally. 

Earlier this month, the Danish agency Vestas, the biggest wind turbine maker, stated its quarterly income dropped by 6 % as in comparison with the identical interval in 2016. Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, one other producer, introduced this month the elimination of 6,000 jobs, multiple fifth of its workforce, after its personal disappointing spherical of earnings.

As one other potential notch within the belt, the House invoice provides to trade apprehensions.

“If you’re an investor, if you’re a bank, if you’re a tax equity provider, and you get a piece of legislation that challenges the provisions of that you thought we’re kind of sacrosanct, that’s a jolt,” stated Chris Brown, Vestas’s North American president, who added that Vestas is “confident in our Senate support.”

“So you kind of stop and pause and say, what are we going to do?”

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A person in a polar bear costume walks between the delegates through the opening of the local weather change convention in Bonn, Germany. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

Trump vs. the world: On Monday, the Trump administration held an occasion pitching coal (and nuclear) energy to the worldwide local weather delegates gathered in Bonn, Germany.

By most accounts, it was not obtained properly.

From Politico’s Emily Holden and Kalina Oroschakoff: “The Trump administration’s effort to pitch coal on the worldwide local weather change badembly backfired on Monday, drawing heckling and booing at White House officers and power trade representatives at a U.S. occasion. The White House-sponsored panel dialogue — held on the sidelines of the annual worldwide local weather change convention — was designed to advertise extra environment friendly use of coal and pure gasoline in addition to nuclear energy, however the occasion shortly was an outpouring of anger on the U.S. for pushing for power sources blamed for enhancing the Earth’s temperatures. ‘Clean coal is bull—-,’ one individual yelled. ‘Liars, you’re a bunch of liars,’ one other bellowed from the again of the room.”

One Chinese reporter needled Trump administration officers about a 2012 tweet from the president calling local weather change a Chinese hoax, in response to Lisa Friedman of the New York Times:

HAH! Chinese reporter recollects @realDonaldTrump‘s tweet that local weather change is a hoax created by the Chinese. “We cannot let it go.”

— Lisa Friedman (@LFFriedman) November 13, 2017

Protesters additionally sang a modified model of “God Bless The U.S.A.”  earlier than emptying the room.

Other attendees condemned the looks from afar. ““Promoting coal at a climate summit is like promoting tobacco at a cancer summit,” stated former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, in response to The Guardian.

The level the U.S. delegation was making an attempt to make in Bonn: That burning fossil fuels for power is essential to raise billions of individuals out of poverty. “Without question, fossil fuels will continue to be used, and we would argue that it’s in the global interest to make sure when fossil fuels are used that they be as clean and efficient as possible,” stated George D. Banks, particular adviser to President Trump on worldwide power points, in response to The Times. “This panel is controversial only if we chose to bury our heads in the sand.”

— On Monday, Democracy Forward, a nonpartisan authorized watchdog group, filed a Freedom of Information Act compliant towards the Environmental Protection Agency on behalf of the Bay Journal, a month-to-month newspaper overlaying environmental points within the Chesapeake Bay. The company had funded the Bay Journal by 4 presidential administrations earlier than the EPA lower off the spigot below President Trump. 


The submitting is a primary step for the Bay Journal to enchantment the choice below EPA chief Scott Pruitt to chop its funding halfway by its grant interval. The Energy 202 wrote about that call in September.

— Up subsequent in Congress: Michael Dourson, President Trump’s decide to guide the EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, has not but superior to the Senate ground for a vote, which The Intercept’s Sharon Lerner writes could also be an “indication that Republicans don’t yet have the votes” to substantiate him. While the Trump administration has signaled that trade expertise gained’t stand in the way in which of nominees to the EPA, there appears to be a maintain up with Dourson. Red state Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin (W-Va.) has stated he’ll oppose him, and the Intercept reported that Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) can be anticipated to vote towards him. Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), who has been main the trouble towards Dourson, advised The Intercept that “I know some of our Republican colleagues don’t feel good about the votes they cast on the floor.” He added: “After casting votes for one troubling nominee after the other after the other, you reach a point where some of the Republicans will say, Enough already. No more.”

Meanwhile: A gaggle of practically 5 dozen former EPA attorneys slammed the company’s new “sue and settle” coverage. More from The Hill: “Dozens of former [EPA] attorneys are badailing the Trump administration’s policy meant to curb legal settlements with environmental groups. The 57 attorneys, who all served in nonpolitical career roles, accused EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt of deliberately misrepresenting legal settlement practices and the work of attorneys both at the EPA and the Justice Department.”

— Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló on Monday referred to as for $94.four billion to pay for damages because the island continues to get well from Hurricane Maria. He stated that restoring the power grid was the primary precedence within the restoration efforts.

Here’s a breakdown of the estimated damages, shared through Politico’s Sarah Ferris:

Puerto Rico Gov Rossello is as we speak requesting $94 billion for hurricane restoration

— Sarah Ferris (@sarahnferris) November 13, 2017

“This is a critical step forward in the rebuilding of Puerto Rico, where we’re not only looking to rebuild  as was before but we want to make it much stronger much more resilient and make Puerto Rico a model for the rest of the caribbean and the rest of the region,” Rosselló stated Monday.“We’re also making a commitment, I’m also making a commitment, that this will be the most transparent recovery effort in the history of the United States.”

Rosselló and Rep. Jenniffer González-Colón (R) additionally referred to as for equality within the restoration efforts. “Historically we have been treated unequally,” Rosselló stated. “But, I have said, from the storm onwards, I have said that the White House has responded to all of our requests.”

More Whitefish fall out: A batch of emails that have been included in additional than 2,000 pages of paperwork that have been turned over to congressional investigators present that the small Montana-based agency struggled from the get-go on its quests to revive the ability grid.

Here are another highlights from paperwork, per The Post’s Aaron C. Davis and Steven Mufson: “According to the emails, PREPA’s attorneys warned towards the phrases of an expanded settlement with Whitefish. PREPA went forward and signed that contract on Oct. 17 with out making many advisable modifications. That contract constructed on an earlier settlement PREPA and Whitefish signed on Sept. 26…The Oct. 17 contract raised the ceiling quantity for funds to Whitefish to $300 million. Much of that cash was for linemen that Whitefish was bringing to the island, billing at a charge of over $300 per hour, per individual. The paperwork present these charges have been in some circumstances greater than twice what its subcontractors have been charging, permitting Whitefish to pocket as a lot as one among each two it billed PREPA for the work.”

Here’s extra on the scenario in Puerto Rico:

  • Rosselló additionally referred to as on lawmakers to contemplate excluding Puerto Rico from a proposed excise tax in present laws to overtake the tax system, per the Associated Press. “If the purpose of the tax reform is to create American jobs, then Puerto Rico should be considered… If not, it will find yourself being worse than how it’s as we speak.”

  • How will the island rebuild the ability grid? One concept is to construct microgrids, native self-sufficient networks of mills and storage units that may mitigate reliance on a primary energy grid, José Antonio Santiváñez, a professor of commercial administration engineering at Puerto Rico’s University of Turabo advised the Scientific American.  “Another reason microgrids are a good option for Puerto Rico is that there are hard-to-reach places on the island where [PREPA] said it would never be able to deliver power,” he added.

  • Who precisely is answerable for Puerto Rico because the territory recovers? That was the problem at middle of a court docket battle Monday by which a U.S. federal decide dominated former army officer couldn’t oversee PREPA, a win for Rosselló, the Associated Press reported. U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain dominated that the Financial Oversight and Management Board could not take management of the territory’s authorities companies, denying a request to call retired U.S. Air Force Colonel Noel Zamot because the utility’s chief transformation officer.

Trump vs. science: The White House just isn’t holding an occasion for U.S. Nobel Prize recipients, a break with common follow, The Post’s Anne Gearan experiences. “Trump’s choice for this primary 12 months in workplace has been a subject of curiosity amongst scientists particularly, due to administration insurance policies and selections seen as hostile to badysis into local weather change, air pollution, pesticides and extra. The Nobel occasion sometimes takes place in mid- to late November, a good window after the winners are introduced in early October and earlier than the Nobel Prize ceremony in Stockholm in early December.” Eight American scientists and academics won the prize. A White House spokesman called it “only a scheduling difficulty.”


Opponents of the Keystone XL pipeline reveal on the Dodge Street pedestrian bridge throughout rush hour in Omaha, Neb., on Nov. 1. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

Keystone replace: The Nebraska Public Service Commission introduced it will ship its long-awaited choice on the proposed Keystone XL pipeline on Nov. 20. The 5 members of the fee have been reviewing the proposal for the 275-mile pipeline for months. President Trump granted a allow for the pipeline in March. For a primer, learn Steven Mufson’s piece from August.

Swaying the youth vote: The American Conservative Coalition, a nonprofit group and group of younger Republican activists, now has the help of 30 school Republican chairs who need a “clean energy future.” More from CNBC: “The divergence of environmental views between millennial Republicans and their elders mirrors a dynamic reflected in a 2016 Pew Research opinion survey. The study bemoaned the ‘polarized views’ that characterize the debate over the environment, noting that the climate skepticism demonstrated by Trump runs deep among the GOP rank and file. With the ACC’s efforts, college Republicans intend to serve notice on the GOP’s senior leadership, [Benjamin Backer, the ACC’s president and a sophomore at the University of Washington] insisted. ‘The Republican Party really values their young activists … and this will send a really strong message that things need to change,’ he told CNBC.”


This satellite tv for pc picture obtained from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reveals Category 1, Hurricane Katia; Category 5, Hurricane Irma and, Category 1, Hurricane Jose on September 7. (AFP PHOTO / NOAA/RAMMB)

Another document for this hurricane season: There are simply two and a half weeks left within the 2017 hurricane season, and a disturbance a whole bunch of miles southwest of the Azores has a 50 % likelihood of changing into this 12 months’s 18th named storm. If the disturbance upgrades into subtropical storm Sean, 2017 would tie for eighth place on the record of most energetic seasons going again to 1851, Bloomberg reported.

Earthquake searching: We know the place earthquakes are going to hit, however it’s tougher to determine precisely when, explains Vox’s Umair Irfan. “Using historical records and geologic measurements, they can highlight potential seismic hot spots and the kinds of tremors they face,” he wrote after a lethal 7.three magnitude quake that struck close to the Iran-Iraq border on Sunday. “It’s difficult to figure out when an earthquake will occur, since the forces that cause them happen slowly over a vast area but are disbursed rapidly over a narrow region. What’s amazing is that forces built up across continents over millions of years can hammer cities in minutes.”

Maybe this can catch on: A software program firm based mostly in New York City introduced it’ll present workers paid “climate leave” for as much as 5 days for anybody who can’t work as a consequence of excessive climate occasions, per Bloomberg. In circumstances the place a state of emergency is said, affected workers might obtain further time without work.

A vivid spot to the Keurig calamity?: People are smashing their Keurig espresso machines after the corporate pulled adverts from Fox News commentator Sean Hannity’s program over the weekend following Hannity’s remarks about allegations towards Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore.

“It’s definitely not the point they’re trying to make, but it’s a point all the same. Keurig machines and the coffee pods they squirt hot water through are extremely bad — for the planet, for consumers, and evidently for Sean Hannity’s Fox News program,” wrote Damon Beres for Mashable. Beres makes use of Keurig’s second within the information to criticize the brewer and its adverse affect on the atmosphere. Two of his factors embody that the “billions of coffee pods” offered every year are “practically impossible to recycle” and that the pods are created from polypropylene, a plastic that’s dangerous on the atmosphere.

Hannity tweeted Monday for individuals to “maintain on to your espresso machines” after the Keurig CEO put out an announcement:

Hold on to your espresso machines @keurig has acknowledged it received caught up & misled by a bigot. Still gifting away espresso machines, which model has but to be decided. Stay tuned.

— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) November 13, 2017



  • Energy Secretary Rick Perry will host the North American Energy Ministerial in Houston, Tex.
  •  The House Natural Resources Committee holds an oversight listening to  on “The Need for Transparent Financial Accountability in Territories’ Disaster Recovery Efforts.”
  •  The House Energy and Commerce Committee holds a hearingon response and restoration to environmental considerations from the 2017 hurricane season.
  • The Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety holds a listening to.
  • The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee holds a listening to on “Hurricane Recovery Efforts in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.”
  • The Hill holds an occasion on digitalizing infrastructure.

Coming Up

  • Roll Call hosts Energy Decoded on Wednesday.
  • The Progressive Policy Institute & Common Good host“Rebuilding America: What are we Waiting For?” on Thursday.


Here are President Trump’s prime 5 false or deceptive claims:  

An effigy of President Trump was burned in Manila throughout a protest towards his go to to the Philippines for the ASEAN summit:

Watch Stephen Colbert chat with former vice chairman Joe Biden:

Trevor Noah on the badual misconduct allegations towards Roy Moore:

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