Turn to the nation's most objective and informative daily environmental news resource to learn how the United States and key players around the world are responding to the environmental...
Oct. 30 — Renewing and maintaining stable renewable energy tax incentives will be crucial for the development of technologies needed for the U.S. to achieve a low-carbon economy, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said Oct. 30.
Moniz, speaking at the Washington Ideas Forum, said Congress should extend a number of tax credits, including the expired wind production tax credit, to boost investment in the renewable energy sector. Companies and investors have been hesitant to invest without long-term stability in the credits, he said.
“We need to extend those renewable tax credits and do it in a way where there is predictability on all sides,” Moniz said.
A number of tax credits for the renewable energy industry have expired. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) promised in September to hold a vote before the end of 2014 on an $84 billion tax extenders package (H.R. 3474) that would retroactively extend more than 50 expired tax credits.
Impacts from the expiring and expired credits are already being felt. Faced with a credit expiring in 2017, for example, the solar industry has canceled at least two utility-scale thermal solar plants and has launched intense lobbying efforts to preserve the incentive.
President Barack Obama's administration remains committed to an all-of-the-above energy strategy that incorporates all potential fuel sources, including coal, and hopes to develop new technologies that will ensure a low-carbon economy, Moniz said.
“There isn't a war on coal,” Moniz said. “There is, make no bones about it, a fundamental commitment, that starts with the president, on moving to a low-carbon future.”
Addressing climate change around the world will not be possible without “technology solutions that are going to be applied globally,” Moniz said. The U.S. should continue to lead the world in developing such solutions to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, he said.
Regardless of how Democrats fare the Nov. 4 midterm elections, Moniz said the Energy Department's work will continue largely unchanged.
“When it comes to the climate-action plan, which is our main guide for what we are doing, we are exercising all of those programs through existing executive authority,” Moniz said. “We will continue to aggressively pursue our programs with our executive authority.”
Energy Department officials enjoy good relationships with Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairwoman Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Ranking Member Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), and expect to maintain good working relationships regardless of the election results, Moniz said.
Moniz declined to answer directly when asked for his opinion on two current energy issues—the fate of the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline and whether to alter the country's 40-year-old ban on crude oil exports.
Asked about the Obama administration's position on the Keystone pipeline, Moniz noted that the final decision rests with Secretary of State John Kerry, who indicated Oct. 28 a decision might come shortly.
Moniz said the administration continues to review the crude oil export policy, while noting that the U.S. remains a major oil importer. He suggested no decision on the policy was imminent.
“We're evaluating all of the factors,” Moniz said. “The arguments are a little overventilated there.”
Republicans have suggested they would make Keystone and crude oil exports two of their top energy priorities if they take back the Senate in the midterm elections.
Moniz became the second member of Obama's Cabinet in as many days to speak of the urgent need to address climate change at the Washington Ideas Forum. A day earlier, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned that climate change poses immediate national security concerns.
“From my perspective, within the portfolio that I have responsibility for—security of this country—climate change presents security issues for us,” Hagel said. “This is critically important that we pay attention to this.”
Rising sea levels already pose risks to military installations and global security, Hagel warned, adding that many of those impacts are already being felt.
Those comments echo those of a major military report from earlier in October, which found climate change would exacerbate global instability, disease, poverty and conflict.
To contact the reporter on this story: Anthony Adragna in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Pearl at email@example.com
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)