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Energy: Congressional inaction on wind power production tax credits is already causing job losses in Colorado

Wind turbine. Photo courtesy Petr Kratochvil.

Colorado-based wind turbine company announces potential layoffs

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Uncertainty surrounding tax credits for wind energy production is already having an impact, as Vestas Wind Systems announced that it will cut jobs at its factory in Pueblo, Colorado.

Congress has been dithering over an extension of the wind production tax credits for months, with renewable energy as a chip in the current ideological poker game in Washington, D.C.

Wind production tax credits have helped the industry gain a foothold in the past few years, and have been used successfully in other countries to spur renewable energy growth. But the influential fossil fuel lobby — not to mention partisan budget battles — in the U.S. have hampered efforts to renew the tax credit. Continue reading

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Energy: Senate moves on wind power tax credit

Romney favors coal and oil over renewable energy

Wind turbines in Montana. Photo courtesy NREL.

By Summit Voice

Wind power in the U.S. may yet get a leg up from Congress this year, as the Senate Finance Committee this week passed a bill including language that would renew the wind Production tax credit, due to expire at the end of this year.

While the tax credit faces additional hurdles, Colorado’s U.S. senator Mark Udall and Michael Bennet praised the committee after the vote.

“Passing the wind Production Tax Credit is one of the most important steps Congress can take this year to re-energize our economy, create jobs and pursue true energy security. I am glad to see the Senate Finance Committee agrees,” said Udall, who has been giving almost-daily floor speeches on wind power to draw attention to the issue. Continue reading

Energy: Udall battling for wind power tax credit renewal

Expiration of a tax credit for wind power could cost thousands of jobs.

Ideology a stumbling block as Congress grapples with renewable energy issues

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — America’s surge toward renewable energy could hit a stumbling block with the expiration of the production tax credit at the end of this year, but Colorado Sen. Mark Udall is going to do his best to not let that happen.

Udall announced today that he’ll start each Senate session with a floor speech  urging his colleagues to review and renew the tax credit, which has brought thousands of jobs to Colorado and the country and helped grow the nation’s clean energy industry.

“It is one thing for Congress to take the time to consider a new proposal and have an open, honest debate, but the production tax credit is widely supported, will create jobs and has already helped our economy grow,” Udall said.  Continue reading

Feds to propel offshore wind power development

Innovative Energy underwrites coverage of energy issues.


Offshore turbines like this one at the Kentish Flats windfarm in the Thames Estuary could become commonplace off the East Coast of the U.S. under a new initiative launched this week by the U.S. Department of Interior. PHOTO FROM WIKIPEDIA, VIA THE CREATIVE COMMONS.

Up-front environmental reviews, coordinated state and federal permitting could lead to early construction off the East Coast

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Continuing his deliberate path to developing renewable energy resources on a large scale, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar this week announced a plan to smooth the way for siting, leasing and construction of new offshore wind energy projects. The overall goal is to spur rapid and responsible development of this abundant renewable resource.

The offshore windpower initiative includes steps used to propel permitting of large-scale solar energy projects on public lands in the West, including designation of study areas, upfront environmental reviews and coordination of federal and state permitting processes. Continue reading

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