QUICK NEWS, February 27: PRES WANTS PERMANENT PTC; FEDS BACK SUN R&D; THE DONALD (TRUMP) VS. OCEAN WIND
PRES WANTS PERMANENT PTC
Obama tax plan takes scalpel to oil tax breaks, boosts renewables
Andrew Restuccia, February 22, 2012 (The Hill)
"The Obama administration outlined a plan…to eliminate a slew of oil-and-gas industry tax breaks, while extending a key tax credit for renewable energy… in a broad corporate tax reform framework unveiled by the Treasury Department…
"The plan echoes President Obama’s longtime call to [cut $39 billion worth of tax breaks for oil and gas companies over a decade in his fiscal 2013 budget request because]… the industry receives preferential treatment…Among other things, the plan would repeal the expensing of intangible drilling costs and percentage depletion for oil and natural gas wells."
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"Obama’s plan to nix tax breaks for oil and gas companies faces major opposition from many Republicans, oil-state Democrats and the oil industry. Recent efforts to pass legislation to eliminate the tax breaks have fallen short…[It] is the latest indication that the president hopes to revive the yearlong fight over oil industry tax breaks, signaling the White House believes it’s a winning election issue…Republicans have ramped up attacks on Obama over his energy policies in recent months, pointing to rising gas prices…
"Obama’s tax framework also calls for making permanent the production tax credit for [each kilowatt-hour of electricity that is produced], which is set to expire at the end of the year…A study commissioned by the American Wind Energy Association, the wind industry’s trade group, says that expiration of the production tax credit could cost as many as 37,000 jobs… Republicans have attacked plans to extend the tax credit…[and called it] an unnecessary subsidy for ‘Big Wind.’"
FEDS BACK SUN R&D
DOE Awards Millions In Funding To Solar Energy Research And Development
24 February 2012 (Solar Industry)
"The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded $9 million in funding to its Bridging Research Interactions through collaborative Development Grants in Energy (BRIDGE) program for solar energy research and development.
"…[As] part of the DOE's SunShot Initiative, research teams will be able to access the tools and staff expertise at existing DOE Office of Science research facilities so fundamental scientific discoveries can be rapidly transitioned to existing product lines and projects."
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"The BRIDGE program is the first within the SunShot Initiative to provide engineers and scientists who are developing solar technologies with the tools and expertise of the Department's Office of Science research facilities, including major facilities for x-ray and neutron scattering, nanoscale science, advanced microcharacterization, environmental molecular sciences, and advanced scientific computing.
"…[The DOE said a] collaborative approach will accelerate innovations to lower the cost of solar technologies…"
THE DONALD (TRUMP) VS. OCEAN WIND
Trump backs Cats over wind farm row
James Quilter, 23 February 2012 (Windpower Monthly)
"US entrepreneur and TV celebrity Donald Trump's war against the Vattenfall-led 100MW offshore wind farm in Aberdeenshire Bay, Scotland has taken a new turn with his company stating Trump will do ‘whatever it takes’ to stop the plans.
"The Aberdeenshire Bay project is being developed by a Vattenfall-led consortium in Aberdeen Bay to test next-generation wind turbines. Trump is opposed to the project as he believes they will spoil the view from a golf course he is building nearby. The offshore project is currently going through the permitting process…Trump has ordered work on the golf course to be stopped."
This guy's opposition is a good argument FOR the offshore wind. (click to enlarge)
"…Trump is [reportedly] planning to work alongside anti-wind group Communities Against Turbines Scotland (Cats)…[and] back Cats financially…The issue puts the Scottish government in a difficult position. Although renewable energy is a keystone of the ruling Scottish National Party's policy, the party's leader and Scottish first minister Alex Salmond has previously thrown his weight behind Trump's plans…"
[Dan Barlow, head of policy, World Wildlife Fund Scotland:] "Given the urgent need to tackle climate change it is deeply depressing to hear in detail how Donald Trump intends using his vast wealth to try to kill-off one of the clean, green solutions available to the people of Scotland."