House Approves Energy Bill, Groups Oppose NRC Approval of Nuke Plant, AWEA Continues Push for PTC


On a party line vote of 237 - 187, the Republican controlled House voted Thursday to pass an energy bill that seeks to encourage oil shale development, drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), and offshore drilling in the Atlantic, Pacific and the Gulf of Mexico, as well as force approval of the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline.

The Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy and other groups that oppose nuclear power are asking a federal court to overturn the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s recent decision to approve utility giant Southern Co.’s plan to build two new reactors at a nuclear plant in Georgia.  Activists, in the challenges filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, are also asking the court to review the NRC’s approval of the design for the Westinghouse AP1000 reactor that will be used in the project.  Opponents of the project say the NRC issued a license to build and operate the new reactors — the first time the NRC has approved construction of a new reactor since 1978 — without considering lessons learned from the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan.

The wind industry was disappointed that the production tax credit didn't land an extension in the payroll package. The payroll compromise is a good sign that the PTC could find reprieve soon, American Wind Energy Association CEO Denise Bode said. "The broad base of support for wind energy positions us well to get the PTC extended at the next possible opportunity," she said. Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) added that "not having the extenders in here means we have another must-pass" bill.

Happy Birthday to the Energy and Commerce's Solyndra Investigation which is one year old today.