In the Pipeline: 12/19/12

It is increasingly clear that Senator Lamar Alexander has been eating his spinach. IER (12/18/12) reports: “In a speech Thursday on the Senate floor, Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) gave the following floor speech in response to the wind industry’s phase-out proposal of the wind Production Tax Credit:”


In a way, it’s like the government is raising a very dysfunctional family.  One kid gets a timeout while the other continues to raid the cookie jar.  This does not end well for anyone. Fox News(12/17/12) reports: “Lights left on during a foggy night last year at a West Virginia wind farm are thought to be behind the grizzly deaths of nearly 500 songbirds… It was the third time it happened — and each time, the federal government looked the other way… Fast forward to last week. Following the deaths of a dozen migratory birds in Montana, Wyoming and Nebraska several years back, a Denver-based oil company was fined $22,500. The company was also ordered to make an additional $7,500 payment to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.”


Happy 5th anniversary, Renewable Fuels Mandate.  Seriously, what do you get for somebody who has already gotten everything they have ever wanted from the federal government? The Hill (12/15/12) reports: “House Republicans plan to put the renewable fuel standard on trial next Congress, a House Energy and Commerce Committee aide told The Hill… Committee staff is gearing up for hearings on the subject, citing recent concerns from the AAA motor club, automakers and the oil industry that the rule is pushing a high-ethanol fuel blend onto the market they say will damage cars.”


Boom goes the dynamite. The Beacon Hill Institute (December 2012) reports: “Pennsylvania’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard, which requires that utilities obtain 18 percent of their power generation from non-traditional resources by the year 2021, would likely lead to an economic cost to the Commonwealth of $16.3 billion from 2013-2021, according to a new study published by the Beacon Hill Institute… The report, prepared by economists at Suffolk University in Boston, found that Pennsylvanians will likely see their power bills increase by nearly 12 percent due to the mandate, and perhaps as high as 15 percent. Since the dependence on electricity is ubiquitous, those costs are regressive and will hit low-income households the hardest. Unsurprisingly, the higher costs – which have an effect similar to tax increases – will result in thousands of net job losses and decreases in disposable income.”


Fast Eddie vs. The Incredible Hunk.  This one is going to be far too much fun to pass up. (12/18/12) reports: “US Representative Edward J. Markey said Monday he would consider running for the US Senate were John F. Kerry nominated for secretary of state, but a poll he’s conducting shows it’s not just some idle thought… A Massachusetts resident relayed to a Globe reporter the contents of a 20-minute survey an out-of-state firm conducted via telephone that assessed Markey’s strengths and weaknesses in a potential match-up against Senator Scott Brown.”


Mission accomplished!  Edison Mission Energy bankruptcy another notch in Richard Windsor’s belt. LA Times (12/18/12) reports: “Edison Mission Energy has been struggling on several fronts: depressed energy prices because of the nation’s boom in natural gas production; higher fuel costs affecting its older coal-fired facilities and pending debt maturities… The company also said that it faced the ‘need to retrofit its coal-fired facilities to comply with environmental regulations.’”


How sad. Politico (12/18/12) reports: “Clean Air-Cool Planet, a climate change advocacy nonprofit, is shuttering its Washington office, according to an email from Brooks Yeager, the group’s executive vice president for policy, who announced he is stepping down Friday. “I believe, given the overall fundraising environment and the challenge that CA-CP has faced in raising unrestricted revenue, that the decision of the board and the executive director to wind down CA-CP’s policy effort and to close our Washington office and to focus the group’s future work on our national campus emissions reduction and the Northeast regional adaptation effort makes a good deal of sense,” Yeager wrote in the email, which was sent to friends and colleagues.”

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