The US Senate blocked more than $50 billion in tax credits for renewable energy and research and development by voting on two bills that would have revoked tax breaks for Big Oil and extended tax credits to renewable energy. Proponents of the two measures touted them as vital for consumer relief and transition to new energy sources, but both measures failed to muster the 60 votes needed to proceed.
The first bill, The Consumer First Energy Act would have levied a 25% tax on "windfall profits" of major oil companies to invest in the Energy Independence and Security Act Trust Fund. It would also repeal tax breaks for major oil and gas companies, estimated to value $17 billion over the next 10 years.
The second bill, the Renewable Energy and Job Creation Act of 2008, was the Senate partner to the tax-extenders legislation that passed in the House last month. The $54 billion package would have extended tax breaks for renewable energy set to expire at the end of this year. It includes a six-year extension of the investment tax credit for solar energy; a three-year extension of the production tax credit for biomass, geothermal, hydropower, landfill gas, and solid waste; and a one-year extension of the production tax credit for wind energy. It also includes incentives for the production of renewable fuels such as biodiesel and cellulosic biofuels, for companies that produce energy-efficient products, and improve efficiency in commercial and residential buildings. Funding for the tax credits would come from closing loopholes for hedge-fund managers and multinational corporations.
Industry executives are getting nervous since extensions have stalled in the Senate several times before and as the end of the year looms when those credits are set to expire...Read More »
Waste Connections Inc. has increased the size of an unsecured line of credit by $45 million, bringing the total to $845 million. As of May 31 the Folsom-based waste management firm had $546 million of outstanding debt under the credit agreement, including about $71 million for lines of credit. The lenders are Bank of America N.A. and JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A. Pricing, terms, conditions and covenants of the credit agreement remain the same...Read More »
A Carlsbad, CA based company has applied for permits and offered to build a plasma-arc waste-to-energy facility for Santa Cruz County. The company, AdaptiveARC would build the $15 million facility at no charge to the county to help pave the way for future contracts in the US. AdaptiveARC's facilities employ a plasma-arc gasification process that heats waste to temperatures as high as 3,000 degrees to convert it to synthetic gas, a clean burning fuel to generate electricity...Read More »
An activist group has released a study that calls for increased recycling and composting as a better way to fight global warming than waste-to-energy. The study, "Stop Trashing the Climate," calls for a zero-waste strategy that includes higher taxes on incinerators and landfill materials and an end to government subsidies for waste-to-energy projects. Shutting down incinerators and phasing out landfills through recycling would have the same impact as closing one-fifth of the nation's 417 coal-burning power plants, according to the study's authors, the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and Eco-Recycle...Read More »
EnergySolutions announced that it has signed its second five-year contract with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) which is valued at $30 million. Under the contract, they will provide liquid radioactive waste management services to the TVA's Sequoyah, Watts Bar and Browns Ferry nuclear power plants...Read More »
Climate technology company Allied Resource Corp. said that it closed a $53 million financing that is expected to accelerate efforts to expand its waste lube oil recycling and coal gasification projects. La Jolla, CA-based private equity firm PCG Capital Partners provided the financing along with the advisory services of Riverside Management Group...Read More »
The Blue Ridge Landfill in eastern Pennsylvania has been approved by the state Department of Environmental Protection to increase its average intake from 1,450 to 1,700 tons of waste per day. The DEP determined that the increase of 250 tons, which translates into an additional seven trucks, would have only a "minimal impact" to the environment. The landfill's maximum daily tonnage remains at 2,000 tons per day...Read More »
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) will have new leadership beginning on June 17. Mark Vickery has been deputy executive director since 2004 and succeeds Glenn Shankle, who is retiring from state government. He will oversee a state agency with 2,900 employees and an operating budget of more than $564 million...Read More »
Casella Waste Systems will announce its fiscal fourth quarter financial results at the close of markets on Wednesday, June 18 and host a conference call the following day at 10 a.m. (EDT) to discuss them...Read More »