Friday, August 19, 2022

Play

A look at lack of representation as a deterrent for young voters; Maine's DOT goes green while Washington state aims to make homes more energy resilient; and a growing momentum for trauma-informed care.

Play

Florida judge says Mar-a-Lago search affidavit should be partially released, former chief financial officer of Trump Organization pleads guilty to grand larceny and tax fraud, and the Biden administration says it's moving monkeypox vaccine production to U.S.

Play

More women enter politics in the wake of the Supreme Court's ruling on Roe v. Wade, one owner of a small town Texas newspaper fights to keep local news alive, and millions of mental health dollars could help reduce the suicide rate among farmers and ranchers.

It's Getting "Windy" Again in Illinois

Play

Monday, May 20, 2013   

LISLE, Ill. - At the end of last year, there were reports of layoffs in the wind power industry because of uncertainty over whether Congress would continue the wind power production tax credit that was expiring in December. But now that the credit has been extended for a year, wind power is picking up again, and Illinois is now the fourth-largest wind energy producer in the nation.

According to John Purcell, vice president of the energy division at Leeco Steel, his company has had to triple the size of its Lisle office in part because it's getting so many orders for steel plates for wind towers.

"Illinois is open for business for wind, and the industry is hiring and the wind industry stands to be busy again," Purcell declared.

The wind-energy industry now employs more than 75,000 workers in Illinois and 42 other states. Nearly 200 companies in Illinois are involved in the supply chain.

Environmentalists looking for moves away from what they call "dirty" energy, meaning fossil fuels, now are hoping that tax reform legislation coming up in Congress will include incentives for wind energy that don't expire every year - that is, just like the continuing incentives received by the oil, gas, and nuclear industries.

Purcell said wind technology is becoming more efficient.

"The towers are getting taller, which means you catch better wind and so you have those turbines are spinning stronger, better, longer, faster," he said.

Dave Hamilton, Director for Clean Energy with the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal Campaign, said clean wind energy is good for the environment and it's good for the economy. But, he said, the increased competition from wind is not going over well with the dirty-energy companies. Hamilton suspects that's why nuclear and oil interests lobbied against the production tax credit last year.

"You know, what really hurts them is the growing amount of wind, because the more it grows the lower the wholesale price of power," he declared. "Turbines may be more expensive or less expensive to build, but once those things are up the cost of the wind doesn't change."

Unlike fossil fuels, wind is free. An Exelon executive recently told BusinessWeek that the wind industry could create so much competition that some nuclear plants might have to be retired early. He called the wind industry "oversubsidized," but the Environmental Law Institute found that over a two-year period, fossil fuel companies received $50 billion in energy subsidies while the wind production tax credit cost just over $1 billion.

Hamilton points out that the wind production tax credit expires, while fossil fuel subsidies do not. He's hoping tax reformers will level the playing field for renewable energy industries such as wind.

More information is at AWEA.org.




get more stories like this via email

Earlier this year, nearly 1,300 Minnesotans participated in a new initiative that provides free schooling for people who want to become certified nursing assistants. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

This fall, additional free classes will be offered in Minnesota for people thinking about a career as a certified nursing assistant. It follows an …


Health and Wellness

Legislation signed into law this month by Gov. Charlie Baker is expected to bring updates long overdue to mental-health services in Massachusetts…

Social Issues

Organizers behind a new Indigenous school in western South Dakota hope they can give young Native American students a more optimal learning environmen…


Social Issues

Relief may be on the way for many older Nevadans who need hearing aids but can't afford to pay $3,000 to $5,000 for a pair. The Food and Drug …

Judge Douglas Shapiro reinstates $12 minimum wage for all Michigan workers. (David Carillet/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Workers in Michigan won major victories recently as a minimum-wage increase and employer paid sick time program were reinstated by court order…

Social Issues

Small-business owners and entrepreneurs in a handful of towns across the state have resources at their fingertips to help renovate and reuse historic …

Health and Wellness

Your first heartbreak, accident, loss of a loved-one or being chased by a dog - these and so many other incidents can be lasting traumatic …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021