Tag Archives: Representative Earl Blumenauer

Blumenauer, Levin Introduce Legislation to Bolster Renewable Energy Projects with Direct Payment Option

Press Release, Office of Congressman Blumenauer, May 13, 2021

Today, U.S. Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee, and Mike Levin (D-CA) introduced legislation to give taxpayers the option to take clean energy credits as a direct payment rather than a tax credit. The Renewable Energy Investment Act provides much-needed relief for renewable energy projects that have dealt with sluggish tax equity markets that are slowing project financing and deployment.

The legislation also allows taxpayers with little or no tax liability to take advantage of these tax incentives, thereby expanding the pool of eligible investors and supporting the deployment of renewable energy across the country. Addressing this issue has the support of President Biden, who included reference to a direct payment option for the Production and Investment Tax Credits in his American Jobs Plan overviewRead the entire release here.

CYBERSECURITY

FACT SHEET: President Signs Executive Order Charting New Course to Improve the Nation’s Cybersecurity and Protect Federal Government Networks, The White House 

Recent cybersecurity incidents such as SolarWinds, Microsoft Exchange, and the Colonial Pipeline incident are a sobering reminder that U.S. public and private sector entities increasingly face sophisticated malicious cyber activity from both nation-state actors and cyber criminals. These incidents share commonalities, including insufficient cybersecurity defenses that leave public and private sector entities more vulnerable to incidents. 

This Executive Order makes a significant contribution toward modernizing cybersecurity defenses by protecting federal networks, improving information-sharing between the U.S. government and the private sector on cyber issues, and strengthening the United States’ ability to respond to incidents when they occur. It is the first of many ambitious steps the Administration is taking to modernize national cyber defenses. However, the Colonial Pipeline incident is a reminder that federal action alone is not enough.

NEW DOE-FUNDED EDUCATION & TRAINING PROJECT

New Project Will Provide Training on Distributed Energy Technologies for Building, Safety Officials,
Interstate Renewable Energy Council, May 11, 2021

IREC and partners today announced the launch of a three-year, $2.1 million project, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), to reduce barriers to widespread adoption of distributed energy resources (DERs) by providing education and resources to expand the knowledge of 30,000 safety professionals.

The project will create one of the most widely-accessed DER information clearinghouse websites to house expert information on clean energy codes, standards, permitting, and inspection. Educational content and resources will be regularly added to this clearinghouse website designed to engage a diverse audience. Concurrently, IREC will develop modular online training for the plan review and inspection of solar PV systems, energy storage systems, and EV charging infrastructure.

SIERRA CLUB PROPOSAL FOR COOPERATIVES & COAL COMMUNITIES

Generation and transformation: Bringing cooperative G&Ts into the clean energy future. Contributed by Jeremy Fisher, Utility Dive

If the energy and capacity services provided by the coal plants to America’s G&Ts were replaced by clean energy, our proposed program could drive 60 GW of solar and wind, and nearly 20 GW of storage build in rural communities — a cost-effective investment of nearly $80 billion. That investment in clean provides lower cost energy than the all-in forward going cost for many of these coal plants. The availability of lower cost clean energy not only supports today’s customers, but attracts corporate buyers who are increasingly interested in clean energy. It reduces the risk of future stranded costs, allows utilities to avoid expensive future environmental compliance obligations for plants that still need pollution controls, and positions G&Ts competitively in today’s energy market. Photo Credit: Catherine Motehouse, Utility Dive

Jeremy Fisher is Senior Advisor for Strategic Research and Development, Environmental Law Program, The Sierra Club.

OFFSHORE WIND

A huge moment’: U.S. gives go-ahead for its first major offshore wind farm, CNBC

In March, the Departments of Energy, Interior and Commerce said they wanted offshore wind capacity to hit 30 gigawatts (GW) by 2030, a move the Biden administration hopes will generate thousands of jobs and unlock billions of dollars in investment over the coming years. If this target is realized it would represent a significant expansion for the U.S. While America is home to a well-developed onshore wind industry, the country’s first offshore wind facility, the 30 MW Block Island Wind Farm, only started commercial operations in late 2016.

Photo by Ørsted: Tugboat passing by a Block Island Wind Farm turbine.