In the Pipeline: 5/10/11

This is what happens when you take too many right hooks to the head, you start thinking deductions are subsidies The Hill (5/9/11) reports: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) signaled Monday that the Senate would soon turn to a controversial piece of legislation to do away with billions of dollars in tax breaks for large oil producers and increase breaks for clean-energy producers…As Reid welcomed Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) to the Senate Monday afternoon. he noted the upper chamber would soon have opportunities to “make tough choices” and referred to the upcoming energy legislation…”We’ll continue our conversation about how to save taxpayer money and lower our nation’s deficit,” Reid said….”We have to recognize that we cannot do either so long as we keep giving away money to oil companies who clearly don’t need taxpayer handouts,” Reid said. “As gas prices and oil company profits keep rising, each senator will soon have the opportunity to stand with millionaires or with the middle class.”

Solar energy rent seekers scramble to find new markets as Europe sobers up from their renewable binge Wall Street Journal (5/9/11) reports: First Solar is trying to gain access to China’s solar sector, as it and other producers are facing uncertainty over an expected fall-off in business in Europe, the world’s leading solar market…”[China Power International] has a tremendous advantage and strength in operating in China and we have a tremendous advantage and strength in technology but also in building utility systems,” said Kevin Berkemeyer, First Solar’s China representative. “So we really want to bring those two together.”..Under the agreement, the companies initially will explore opportunities within China, and First Solar will assist China Power to find investment opportunities in the U.S. and elsewhere, leveraging the Chinese company’s 2 gigawatts of projects planned for the domestic market and First Solar’s expertise and its 2.4-gigawatt business pipeline in North America…”We are very pleased to build an extensive and in-depth relationship with First Solar, a global leader in solar photovoltaic technology,” said Li Xiaolin, China Power International chairwoman. “This cooperation leverages our advantages in the domestic solar-power industry, and helps First Solar further expand its business presence in China.”



The Obama Administration shuts down American energy and conservatives are blamed for high gas prices Politico (5/9/11) reports: With oil companies such as ExxonMobil announcing a jump in profits of nearly 70 percent while gas prices are hovering around $4 a gallon, Republicans are trying to avoid any impression of defensiveness over their strong support for Big Oil. Most are not apologetic that they subsidize these corporations with their vast array of workers. But they have reason to be nervous…Many are now saying they do not support subsidies, while others assert that these help keep gas prices low and create U.S. jobs. But Republicans have reason to be nervous…This is a strong issue for Democrats. Voters are furious with oil companies, according to our polling, and overwhelmingly support ending subsidies. These subsidies are a key piece of a larger debate about the parties’ priorities, as we argued before. It can be viewed as part of the Republicans’ pattern of support for a budget that cuts taxes for corporations and the rich while ending Medicare as we know it and raising taxes on the middle class.

And again, I may become tall and good looking.  Why does this entire industry exist only in the subjunctive? E&E News (5/9/11) reports: The world could be drawing almost 80 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2050, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said in a report released today…Taking a broad view of renewable power — including not only wind, solar and geothermal power but also wood scavenged in the developing world — the report says renewables could constitute about 77 percent of all power generation, measured in exajoules per year, up from 13 percent…The 77 percent by 2050 estimate represents the report’s most optimistic scenario, assuming a host of policy changes by governments to put a stiff price on emissions of greenhouse gases and generous support for renewable generation…On the low end, the report says renewables might constitute just 15 percent of energy generation by 2050…”While the report concludes that the proportion of renewable energy will likely increase even without enabling policies, past experience has shown that the largest increases come with concerted policy efforts,” the report’s authors say in a release.

A man this eloquent should be President Las Vegas Review (5/8/11) reports: Our legislators, in all their perspicacity and foresight, have said, “Let there be renewable energy,” and gosh darn it, there will be renewable energy whether we need it or not and no matter the cost to the citizens of Nevada…It’s good for us, and we’re going to swallow a full dose of it and turn “green.”..Late last month the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada issued a draft order that concluded “renewable energy has had a minimal impact on residential rates and has not been the cause of high rates in Nevada.” Of course, as NV Energy pointed out in testimony, the data the PUC was using was historic — for only the past five years, as renewables or green energy such as solar, wind and geothermal were just coming onto the power grid. Various calculations placed the cost per month of renewables in 2009 for Southern Nevada ratepayers at somewhere between $1.86 and $2.30, which is up from 29 or 30 cents in 2005.


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