News & Events

Current Utility News
Current News

Conferences

Click above to watch a reply of the debate anytime or to submit comments.


U.S. Competitiveness: The “Gathering Storm” Part 2
(0 votes)

Warning: This blog post, second in the series looking at America's competitiveness, doesn't get any sunnier.  Gathering storm, indeed.

Earlier last month the World Economic Forum (WEF) released its annual Global Competitiveness Report.  This year, we are the fourth most competitive country in the world, behind Switzerland, Sweden, and Singapore.  Last year we were second.

Fourth place doesn't sound so bad, you say?  Oh, it gets worse.

Look at the table below comparing the United States' competitiveness scores with China's.  That's where it gets really scary.  Now, I'm not picking on China just because it's the thing to do.  I think that China should be our leading benchmark simply because it is the only economy in the world today with the size and might to rival the U.S. (no offense to Switzerland, Sweden, and Singapore).

Add a comment
Read more...
 
U.S. Competitiveness: The “Gathering Storm” Part 1
(1 vote)

American competitiveness has been on my mind lately.  Last month, The National Academies released a frightening update to the "Rising Above the Gathering Storm" report it issued five years ago.  This iteration, subtitled "Rapidly Approaching Category 5" basically concludes that we weren't listening then, and now the problem is really bad.  Seriously this time, folks. 

Key takeaways and startling factoids from the Gathering Storm report:

Add a comment
Read more...
 
The Great Wyoming Wind Tax Debate
(1 vote)

Last week in my post Google Likes Wind. Shouldn't Arizona? I briefly mentioned the fact that the Wyoming legislature passed a new tax on wind producers in that state - the first move of its kind in the nation.  The new tax, set to take effect in 2012, has set off a windstorm (I couldn't help it!) about the pros and cons of taxing wind energy.

First, the details.  The new tax is a wind electricity generation tax of $1 for every megawatt-hour of electricity produced.  Also, Wyoming's policymakers have allowed the state's sales tax exemption on renewable energy equipment to expire as of 2011; so sales/use taxes of up to 6 percent will be required on wind turbines.  Finally, lawmakers have actually been talking about increasing the generation tax from $1 to $5 or $7 per megawatt-hour.

Add a comment
Read more...
 
In Memoriam: Jorge Luis Garcia
(1 vote)

I was saddened to learn last weekend of the death of a truly great Arizonan, Jorge Luis Garcia.  Jorge, the state Senate minority leader, was one of two Democratic candidates on the ballot for Corporation Commissioner.  He was, as the Arizona Republic well said, "a quiet champion of the little guy."

In his years at the Capitol (he served in the state House of Representatives from 1993 to 1997 and in the Senate since 2003) Jorge often eschewed partisan politics to do what he felt was right for Arizonans.

Add a comment
Read more...
 
Google Likes Wind. Shouldn’t Arizona?
(1 vote)

According to a new research report by the Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory (LBNL), the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (the "stimulus bill" as most of us know it) did a lot of good for America's wind industry:

  • The Treasury Department's 1603 cash grant program restarted stalled projects and saved or created 50,000 jobs in the U.S.
  • A record-breaking 10,000 megawatts (MW) of new wind capacity was built in 2009, thanks in large part to the 1603 cash grants.

Wind is hip, too - in May Google invested $38.8 million in two North Dakota wind farms.  And last week the company announced that it will invest in the Atlantic Wind Connection - a massive new project off the East Coast (see the map here).

Add a comment
Read more...
 
<< Start < Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Next > End >>

Page 1 of 13