Phase-out of wind production tax credit could help secure its extension

Amid the lame-duck rush to conclude the 112th Congress, the proposed extension of the 10-year wind energy production tax credit, or PTC, is one of the two big energy issues President Obama has to juggle as he prepares for his second term and tries to keep the U.S. economy from falling off the ‘fiscal cliff’. […]

U.S. could have cap and trade by 2016 – if California succeeds, starting Wednesday

Think the U.S. could use tens of billions of dollars of brand new revenue to address its budget and debt challenges? And do you think newly re-elected President Obama might take a run at a bonafide climate strategy as part of his legacy by 2016? The answer to the first question is easy. But answering […]

With Obama’s win, cleaner energy has another chance, but these questions loom

Just because President Obama won four more years, doesn’t mean the next four will be any easier. Sure, it’s now his legacy he is beginning to focus on. But there are tall hurdles even the election results will do to change. Renewable energy developers and suppliers have a few rays of sunshine and a more […]

Support for cleaner energy surcharges, carbon expectations, firms controlling their energy costs–Deloitte study

More companies are setting formal energy cost-cutting goals and in the process making energy management a strategic discipline. That is one dimension of Deloitte’s second annual survey designed to help executives make energy-related investment and business decisions. Conducted for Deloitte’s Center for Energy Solutions by the Harrison Group market research firm, the survey also found […]

What if U.S. needs new, real, money in 2013? Carbon tax could become ‘least, terrible’ option

As the next Congress goes to work in January 2013, this scenario could play out almost purely because it makes the ‘math’ work for a workable fiscal policy.┬áIf Barack Obama is re-elected President and Democrats regain control of the U.S. House of Representatives — or not — there almost surely will come a time when […]

Solyndra is 1.4% of U.S. energy loan guarantee portfolio, program default rate is less than 4%

For all the energy challenges facing the U.S. and Congress’ unwillingness to tackle real problems, the Republican-led probe of the Solyndra loan and its grilling of Energy Secretary Stephen Chu Nov. 17 by the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation speaks volumes about its misplaced priorities. The $535 million Department of Energy […]

First Big Oil, now ethanol – are wind, solar, nuclear subsidies next to come under fire?

The answer to THAT question determines how much life subsidies for corn-based ethanol have in the U.S. And the clock may be ticking on other subsidies. As fiscal pressures mount, both politically and financially, it is becoming increasingly difficult to defend the 45-cent-a-gallon subsidy to refiners and a 54-cent-per-gallon tariff on imported sugarcane ethanol. Together, […]

Tax toxins – not carbon dioxide – from coal-fired power plants

Buried inside Robert Bryce’s relatively new book entitled Power Hungry is a call to “aggressively pursue taxes or caps on the emissions of neurotoxins, particularly those that come from burning coal” to generate electricity such as mercury and lead. This is notable not because Bryce agrees with many environmental and human health experts, but also […]

Natural gas and renewables – a political AND energy fix this time around?

Put these pieces of America’s, if not the world’s, energy puzzle together and one could see a political AND energy fix combining a lot more natural gas-fueled transportation along with renewable sources of electricity and electric vehicles. As U.S. gasoline prices lurch toward $5 per gallon and Americans are reminded this ‘Earth Week’ of the […]

U.S. is slipping farther back in the clean energy race and not just to China

According to The Pew Charitable Trusts, the U.S. is losing the race to create the most robust clean energy economy not just to China but now also to Germany. This among the G-20 nations based on the amount of private equity investment in dollar-equivalent numbers. The U.S. ranked #1 through 2008. If you look at […]