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Is this the end of the line for wind and solar energy tax credits? Should it be?

Author(s): Ben Finzel
President
RENEWPR
Date: November 7, 2014 at 10:07 AM

The American wind energy industry has grown in spite of the “boom and bust” cycle of wind energy development fostered by the renewal-expiration-renewal cycle of the wind production tax credit (PTC). The PTC is one of the primary tools used to spur wind energy development and expired at the end of 2013. The result was a 92% drop in 2013 installations, compared to 2012. Extension of the PTC will likely be the subject of debate about so-called tax extenders during the upcoming “lame duck” session of Congress as the wind industry seeks an extension of the PTC through 2015. The… [more]

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Growing Poor Slowly: Why We Must Have Renewable Energy

Author(s): Dr. Bruce Dale
University Distinguished Professor
Michigan State University, Dept. of Chemical Engineering
Date: October 29, 2014 at 12:31 PM

Human well-being is a direct function of power consumed, or the rate at which work is done. The relationship between rate of energy consumption and rate of wealth production should not surprise anyone. The faster work is done (more power consumed), the more wealth that is produced. It is impossible to think of a single wealth-producing activity that does not require work—the expenditure of energy. The great increase in the world’s wealth since the Industrial Revolution is the obvious outcome of using fossil fuels to provide the energy for machines to do work. We got rich in the last couple… [more]

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Should Tesla (And Other Auto Manufacturers) Be Able To Sell Cars Directly To Consumers?

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: October 23, 2014 at 11:24 AM

Tesla will not be able to sell their electric cars directly to consumers in Michigan after Governor Rick Snyder signed bipartisan legislation on October 21st that clarifies existing state auto sales laws. Tesla has been fighting with numerous states to maintain their preferred, and successful, business model of selling vehicles directly to consumers, as opposed to the traditional method of selling to franchised dealerships that sell to consumers. The Michigan legislation isn’t unique; forty-eight states have had laws in place for years that ban or limit direct sales of automobiles. In the early years of the auto industry, manufacturers needed… [more]

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American Coalition of Competitive Energy Suppliers

Author(s): Michael Spiak
Program Manager
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: October 21, 2014 at 11:21 AM

The American Coalition of Competitive Energy Suppliers (ACCES) is a group of competitive retail natural gas and electricity suppliers committed to consumer education and media outreach, in order to help consumers better understand and take advantage of the benefits of energy choice.

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Missouri Energy Initiative

Author(s): Michael Spiak
Program Manager
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: October 17, 2014 at 4:02 PM

Missouri Energy Initiative is a nonprofit association of public and private-sector entities, united together with the sole purpose of enhancing and improving energy-related activities in Missouri. The Initiative is broadly focused on working with the general public, institutions of higher education, other nonprofit organizations, private sector entities, nongovernmental organizations and associations, and others interested in the stability and growth of the state’s energy sector.

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A Look At State Energy Plans

Author(s): Josh Campbell
Executive Director
Missouri Energy Initiative
Date: October 14, 2014 at 7:00 AM

A State Energy Plan (SEP) is a comprehensive strategy that helps policymakers, state utility regulators, energy suppliers, and consumers strategically plan for a state’s energy future. The goal of an SEP is to act as a roadmap to improve energy affordability, security, and resilience, which in turn, will ultimately lead to a state’s prosperity. As of 2014, thirty-eight states and the District of Columbia have some form of energy planning document to guide statewide energy policy, with another five having begun the process. The Missouri Energy Initiative (MEI) conducted a detailed analysis of SEPs, leading to several conclusions: SEPs have… [more]

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The State And Promise Of Energy Storage

Author(s): Ken Dragoon
Managing Consultant
Ecofys
Date: October 6, 2014 at 10:00 AM

Energy storage has become one of the hottest topics in the electric power industry today as penetration levels of variable energy resources (e.g. wind, solar) rise rapidly. However, from the perspective of the electricity industry, analyzing energy storage can be dauntingly complex, and financial incentives are weakened by depressed electricity prices. A recent study summarizing the state of energy storage, “Energy Storage and Opportunities: A West Coast Perspective White Paper,” offers the following conclusions: Complexities in calculating and realizing the value of energy storage provides multiple system benefits that are often not fully valued, partly because of the complexity involved.… [more]

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Fuel Choice for American Prosperity and Security Act

Author(s): Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL)
Member
U.S. House of Representatives
Date: October 1, 2014 at 7:09 AM

Along with my colleagues Reps. Tom Cole (R-OK) and Matt Salmon (R-AZ), I introduced the Fuel Choice for American Prosperity and Security Act (FCAPS, or H.R. 5107), a bill to promote fuel competition in our transportation sector. In particular, FCAPS aims to: Improve energy and national security by reducing the strategic importance of oil; Save consumers money at the pump by opening vehicles to fuel competition; Spur economic growth by allowing industry to capitalize on more of America’s natural resources; and Reduce the financial burden for automakers and consumers of meeting corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) regulations. Opening cars to… [more]

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Plenty At Stake: Indicators of American Energy Insecurity

Author(s): Senator Lisa Murkowski (R – AK)
United States Senator, State of Alaska
Chairman, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee
Date: September 25, 2014 at 7:05 AM

As articulated in Energy 20/20, my blueprint for a new U.S. energy policy conversation, I believe there is a consensus that it is in our national interest to make energy abundant, affordable, clean, diverse and secure. In addressing these goals, too often affordability is ignored – despite the difficult choices increasing energy costs impose on Americans. In particular, low-income households are highly vulnerable to energy prices because energy bills make up a larger percentage of their living expenses. These families are energy insecure, defined as the inability to afford to maintain a home at a reasonable temperature and the loss… [more]

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What Should Our Policymakers Focus On?

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: September 18, 2014 at 4:05 PM

As midterm elections quickly approach, questions and predictions continue about which energy issues will garner the most attention over the next two years from Congress and other policymakers and influencers. While some new topics have emerged to dominate energy headlines more recently, other issues, such as nuclear waste management, continue to be relevant. Please share your input on what topics require attention from our federal policymakers.

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