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Wyoming Legislative Committee Considers Wind Tax Hike

As Wyoming faces a growing budget shortfall, the state is looking at ways to generate additional revenue, including possibly raising the state's wind tax. The Joint Revenue Committee will consider a proposed tax hike this week.

Wyoming is currently the only state in the nation that taxes wind energy production. Producers pay $1 per megawatt hour of electricity generated. Last year, that brought in $3.8 million to the state and counties.

Kansas will suspend all work on Clean Power Plan

Gov. Sam Brownback signed SB 318 Friday. The bill suspends “all state agency activities, studies, and investigations that are in furtherance of the preparation” of the plans that states are supposed to submit to the U.S. Environment Protection Agency as part of the Clean Power Plan.

The Clean Power Plan is an Obama administration initiative that sets a national goal of reducing carbon emissions by 32 percent of 2005 levels by 2030. Each state is required to submit a plan to the federal government on how to enact this under the policy.

 

 

Energy storage: A market that was always years away is arriving

Combining solar panels with batteries to keep electricity flowing when the sun isn't shining has long been the target for companies dabbling in the emerging technologies of the power grid.

This year is seeing more development in that space than ever before, thanks to falling battery and solar prices, the marketing prowess of super-entrepreneur Elon Musk, and national and international clean-energy and climate-change policies.

 

State regulators reopen case on San Onofre nuclear plant

The California Public Utilities Commission said it is reevaluating the settlement agreement that left ratepayers on the hook for $3.3 billion of the cost of closing the plant. The commission is giving parties involved in the case the opportunity to comment on whether the agreement was reasonable given that representatives of the plant's primary owner, Southern California Edison, engaged in secret talks with regulators over the closed nuclear plant.

Economist explains bleak economic realities of oil crash

As a result of Alaska's full-blown dependence on oil money, the state now faces a grim $4.1 billion budget deficit. Knapp's message is simple, but sobering: "The era when we can rely on oil to pay for most of state government is basically coming to an end."

According to Knapp, the state faces four basic options for reducing the state budget deficit. "We have a problem that can really only be solved by pulling a lot of economic levers," he said. "And the essential issue we face is: How hard do we pull each one?"

Bill introduced in Ohio Senate would extend freeze on renewable-energy standards

Ohio Sen. Bill Seitz, a Republican from Cincinnati, introduced a bill on Monday that would extend a freeze on the state's renewable energy standards for another three years.

After lifting the freeze in 2019, Senate Bill 320 would phase in renewable energy goals in three-year increments through 2028. Utilities would be required to obtain 5.5 percent of their energy from renewable sources in 2022, 8.5 percent in 2025 and 11.5 percent in 2028. Starting in 2029, the goal would be 12.5 percent.

PJM Study Defends Markets, Warns State Policies can Harm Competition

A PJM Energy Market analysis released concludes that the RTO’s markets are efficiently managing the entry and exit of capacity resources but warns their efforts could be hamstrung by policies to protect social, economic or political interests.“Policymakers must weigh these trade-offs, but understand that pursuing individual actions that ‘defeat’ efficient market outcomes will aggregate to a point they will altogether thwart effective operation of the market to the point it can no longer be relied upon to govern resource exit and entry and attract capital investment when needed,” it said.

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