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The week ahead: Wind-credit supporters clamor for action  

Credit:  By Zack Colman | E2 Wire | The Hill | 12/03/12 | thehill.com ~~

Expect lawmakers to continue pressing for the extension of a wind energy tax incentive this week as President Obama and Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) continue bargaining a deficit deal.

The 2.2-cent per kilowatt-hour credit for wind power production is slated to expire on Dec. 31. Supporters of the incentive hope it will be included in legislation to avoid the “fiscal cliff” at year’s end, but there are no guarantees that an agreement will be reached.

Lawmakers who back the credit cite a wind industry-commissioned study that says ending it would eliminate 37,000 jobs. They say the uncertainty surrounding the incentive already has scared off installations for next year.

Fiscal conservatives, on the other hand, say the credit is something the nation can no longer afford. Longtime detractors such as Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) attribute the growing opposition to the renewed focus on the deficit.

In the House, a handful of fiscal conservatives from windy interior states and not-so-breezy Southeastern ones have asked Boehner to kill the tax carve-out.

But many House Republicans want to see the credit extended. With 81 percent of wind installations in GOP districts, there are a number of members who are under pressure to ensure the tax break survives.

The focus is turning to the large bloc of House Republicans who have yet to take a position on the credit. How they come down could be crucial to determining whether the credit makes it into a fiscal-cliff package.

Also related to the debt talks, one of the top negotiators for the White House team is scheduled to discuss how dependence on oil affects national security, the economy and the deficit.

Gene Sperling, director of the National Economic Council, will join Republican Sens. Roy Blunt (Mo.) and Alexander on Monday for the Securing America’s Future Energy event. They will detail a strategy for ending the nation’s reliance on foreign oil.

The discussion, which will take place at the Newseum, also will include several retired military commanders, FedEx CEO Fred Smith and former National Intelligence Director Dennis C. Blair.

The Atlantic will host a Tuesday event at the W Hotel on corporate sustainability, and how sustainable business methods impact the economy, labor force and global competitiveness.

Speakers include Darryl Banks, vice president of energy policy at the Center for American Progress, and Beth Keck, senior director of sustainability for Walmart.

On Wednesday, Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) will give the keynote address at the Compete Coalition’s forum on the impact of the Energy Policy Act of 1992.

The act opened up competition in electricity markets in what had traditionally been regulated monopolies.

The discussion will feature a handful of former lawmakers and federal electric regulators, including former Sens. Bennett Johnston (D-La.) and Don Nickles (R-Okla.). The event will take place at the Phoenix Park Hotel.

Also Wednesday, the head of the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) will provide a forecast of the nation’s energy future through 2040.

EIA Administrator Adam Sieminski will detail the projections for U.S. energy supply, demand and prices at Johns Hopkins University’s School for Advanced International Studies’ (SAIS) Kenney Auditorium in Washington, D.C.

Resources for the Future will also host a Wednesday event, this one taking a look at market-based approaches for environmental regulations.

Sally Katzen, Office of Management and Budget director under former President Bill Clinton, and C. Boyden Gray, White House counsel to former president George H.W. Bush, will speak.

And on Thursday, a panel will look at the role a carbon tax could play in a fiscal-cliff solution and how it could address climate change.

Johns Hopkins’ SAIS program will hold the event at its Rome auditorium. Speakers include Adele Morris, fellow and policy director for the climate and energy economics project at the Brookings Institution and Richard Caperton, director of clean energy investment with the Center for American Progress.

Source:  By Zack Colman | E2 Wire | The Hill | 12/03/12 | thehill.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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