PacifiCorp Energy pleads guilty in bird deaths

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Wind farm operator PacifiCorp Energy will pay $2.5 million in fines after pleading guilty Friday to charges related to the deaths of protected birds in Wyoming.

The subsidiary of Portland, Oregon-based PacifiCorp pleaded guilty in federal court in Wyoming to two counts of violating the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act under a plea deal with prosecutors.


Senate grudgingly sends one-year tax extenders bill to Obama

In one of the final acts under the Democratic majority, senators late Tuesday cleared for President Barack Obama's signature a one-year, $41.6 billion bill to extend expired tax breaks only through 2014.

The outcome left the wind energy industry short of its goal for a longer renewal, and senators from both parties pointing fingers at each other and the White House for the failure to enact a bill that would have extended some 55 provisions at least through next year.

Office of Sen. Wyden

Senate sends tax extenders bill to Obama

The Senate on Tuesday easily approved the $41.6 billion one-year tax extenders bill previously passed by the Republican-led House, sending it to President Barack Obama for his signature.

The package cleared the chamber on a 76-16 vote after a brief floor debate. It includes a renewal of the expired wind Production Tax Credit and biofuels incentives, but only through the end of 2014.

The wind industry hoped to see the PTC extended through 2015. 



EnergyGuardian Photo

Tax extenders, nominees remain on Senate to-do list

Following the dramatic Saturday vote to send a $1.1 trillion 2015 appropriations bill to President Barack Obama that averts a government shutdown, the Senate looks to head for the exits this week, but not until Democrats confirm more energy agency nominees and try to pass a tax breaks bill that includes renewable energy and biofuels aid. 

Democrats on Saturday put Federal Energy Regulatory Commission nominee Colette Honorable in line for a vote this week, along with Christopher Smith to be the Energy Department's assistant secretary for fossil energy.

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee photo

Wyden: Longer tax extenders bill faces hurdles

As the wind industry and allied senators called for the Senate to insist on its two-year tax breaks extension bill, prospects for the effort were dwindling, according to a key architect. 

After the House passed a one-year bill that extends about 50 expired breaks -- including the wind Production Tax Credit -- only through this year, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., told reporters that the legislative options to get a pending two-year bill through the Senate were limited.

"I continue to talk to senators about a bipartisan bill," Wyden said, "and I will tell you it is hard to see how you get over the procedure (issues) to bring it up."

Extenders bill sails though House

The House on Wednesday passed a one-year, $44.7 billion tax breaks extenders bill on a 378-46 vote.

The bill now heads to the Senate, where Democrats will have to weigh it against the two-year bipartisan package passed in the Senate Finance Committee earlier this year.

The wind power industry has pushed for enactment of the Senate package that would extend the tax breaks through 2015. 

House sends 1-year extenders bill to Senate

The House on Monday overwhelmingly approved of a one-year renewal of the expired wind Production Tax Credit and other business tax breaks, despite calls for a longer extension from the wind industry, backed by environmental groups.

The Republican-led House voted 378-46 to send the $44.7 billion extenders bill to the Senate. Democrats there will have to decide whether to insist on the two-year, $85 billion extenders bill passed by the Finance Committee this spring, or simply pass the House bill as time runs short on their lame-duck session.

President Barack Obama made clear Wednesday he could sign either bill.

Senate Democrats

Senate Dems await one-year extenders bill

The $44.7 billion House bill to renew expired wind energy and other business tax breaks through 2014 failed to draw opposition from Senate Democrats on Tuesday, as a key Republican predicted lawmakers will ultimately agree to send the plan to President Barack Obama.  

Lawmakers on both sides of the Capitol said they wanted a longer term bill to give businesses and individuals more certainty. But they also said the one-year bill was the only viable option after a $400 billion multi-year draft plan discussed by leaders in both chambers was shelved after the White House voiced its opposition last week.

Associated Press

House extenders plan gives wind sector less than hoped

The wind energy industry is facing another year of uncertainty about a key tax incentive if Congress goes ahead with a package of business tax break renewals that extends only through 2014.

A multi-year $400 billion proposal -- which would have extended some expired tax breaks, including the wind Production Tax Credit, and made others permanent -- fell victim last week to White House opposition. On Monday, House Republicans unveiled a one-year, $44.7 billion package of renewals for breaks that expired last Dec. 31, including the PTC and other incentives for biofuels and energy efficiency.

Illinois OKs wind transmission line

Crain's Chicago Business

The Illinois Commerce Commission has granted approval for Clean Line Energy Partners’ Rock Island Clean Line, intended to transmit power 500 miles from wind farms in the Plains states, Crain’s Chicago Business reports.


Subscribe to Wind