The Pileup Behind the Fiscal Slope, and the Consequences of Inaction

By: Friday December 21, 2012 7:03 am

Say what you will about the 2010 deal to extend the Bush tax cuts, which helped to set up what we’re seeing this month. But there was definitely a virtue in getting it done by early December, allowing for a productive lame duck session that repealed Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, passed the New START arms [...]

The Fate of Energy Policy in the Lame Duck Session

By: Wednesday November 14, 2012 8:30 am

I don’t think the late-in-the-game bid for a carbon tax will come to pass, but energy policy will become critical in the coming weeks, with expiring measures and controversial subsidies up for bid. The biggest threat to our energy future in the near term – and that’s not much of a hyperbole – is the [...]

Republicans Raise Concept of Extending Wind Power Tax Credit, With Eventual Phase-Out

By: Monday October 29, 2012 8:30 am

There’s an election to win, particularly in wind-rich states like Iowa and Colorado, and so now the Republican standard-bearer has changed his position on allowing the wind energy production tax credit to phase out. The tax break subsidizes wind power by 2.2 cents a kilowatt hour to bring its cost closer to that of conventional [...]

Wind Energy’s Boom and Bust Cycles

By: Thursday October 18, 2012 11:36 am

Tim McDonnell has a good, depressing piece on the wind power industry scrambling to extend the production tax credit, and the carnage that will face the industry if they fail. This has been turned into an electoral issue because of the prominence of the industry in swing states like Iowa and Colorado, and because Mitt [...]

The Depressing Energy Debate in America

By: Wednesday October 17, 2012 7:39 am

Anyone hoping to see an end to our policies of encouraging the burning of fossil fuels certainly winced at the energy section of last night’s debate, which did not mention climate change but did feature both candidates trying to convince the country that they would deliver more coal and oil-based domestic energy.

Greentech Industries Imperiled by Anti-Stimulus, Removal of Federal Supports

By: Friday September 21, 2012 10:15 am

One of the highlights of the stimulus package, according to Michael Grunwald’s book The New New Deal, was the $90 billion in investment in green energy. This kick-started a moribund industry and more than doubled the output of renewables as a percentage of overall energy. What it did not do is secure the place of [...]

Romney Releases Energy Plan

By: Thursday August 23, 2012 6:33 am

Mitt Romney released an energy plan yesterday that some outlets report sets a goal of energy independence by 2020. That’s not quite right. The goal expressed here is “North American energy independence” by 2020, and when you consider that one of our biggest if not our biggest energy trading partner is Canada, and that Mexico [...]

Governors Ask EPA to Suspend Corn-Based Ethanol Mandate

By: Thursday August 16, 2012 12:54 pm

Four states have asked the EPA to waive the renewable fuels standard that forces the nation to generate more corn-based ethanol at a time of significant drought and a corn shortage. The states all have Democratic Governors, though two of them come from the South. The worst drought in 50 years has sent corn prices [...]

Romney: Delay the Trigger Cuts

By: Saturday August 4, 2012 7:51 am

There was a big breakthrough in the Presidential race, with implications for US fiscal policy, that sort of slipped by unnoticed on a Friday in August. Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee, argued for a one-year delay in the trigger, the automatic cuts to defense and discretionary spending set to go at the end of [...]

Future of Wind Power Tax Credit Uncertain

By: Monday July 9, 2012 10:55 am

The political system is so biased toward taxes that you could be forgiven for thinking that the only expiring measure at the end of the year worth our collective concern is the fight over the Bush tax cuts. That’s not the case, as I’ve shown in discussing the trigger cuts and the payroll tax situation [...]

Cantor Unveils Plan to Fight Tax Cuts with Tax Cuts

By: Monday February 20, 2012 8:55 am

With the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance extensions completed to the end of the year, most observers don’t expect much action in Congress until the November elections. The fact that you can say that on February 20 is quite sad, but it also happens to be the truth. This Congress has shown no ability [...]

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