B12 Solipsism

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Archive for the ‘solar’ tag

Congress Extends Itself Tax Extender Style

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Relentless
Relentless

Gail Collins provides a good elevator pitch description of a tax policy tool called tax extenders…

One of the very, very few things the current Congress seems determined to deal with before it vanishes into the night is the problem of “tax extenders.” Extenders are strange but much-loved little financial mutants. Sort of like hobbits or three-legged kittens.

Congress, in its wisdom, has created a raft of temporary tax breaks for everybody from teachers to banks that make money overseas. Most are really intended to be permanent. But calling them short-term measures tricks the Congressional Budget Office into underestimating how much they cost.
“If you pass a new tax cut, you’ve got to find offsetting spending cuts. But these are in a sense free,” said Howard Gleckman of the Tax Policy Center.

After the election, both parties appeared inclined to just extend all the tax cuts for two years while making principled mumbling about reform down the line.

But then the Koch brothers roared into the picture. They feel that it’s wrong for the government to give a special benefit to an industry that’s one of their competitors. Especially a government that they and their associates devoted nearly $60 million to getting into office. Politico reported that their representatives have been meeting with Speaker Boehner’s staff.

And you know, they have a point. If Congress actually wanted to do serious reform, it should get rid of special tax breaks for the wind and solar energy sectors. While, of course, also removing all the tax breaks for drilling oil.

(click here to continue reading Congress Extends Itself – NYTimes.com.)

Written by Seth Anderson

November 17th, 2014 at 10:19 pm

Investing In Solar Power

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Solar Panels - Chicago Center for Green Technology
Solar Panels – Chicago Center for Green Technology

Jobs, green energy jobs could be a solution to our anemic economy; if we had a functional political class. Instead we have one party1 willing, and able, to sacrifice national prosperity on the alter of upcoming elections, and another party2 too mealy-mouthed to do much about it. Meanwhile, China and the rest of the industrialized world is lapping us in investing in future technologies.

The New York Times reported that “much of China’s clean energy success lies in aggressive government policies that help this crucial export industry in ways most other governments do not,” including “heavily subsidized land and loans.” Those subsidies are part of a comprehensive policy agenda set by the Chinese government, which “sends clear signals to investors,” according to a Brookings Institution report:

Critical to China’s success is its articulation of a comprehensive and long-term state clean energy build out policy that sends clear signals to investors. Through its 12th Five Year Plan, China has identified “new energy” as one among seven “strategic emerging industries” and will invest $760 billion over the next 10 years in this sector alone. A range of complementary policies will guide these investment decisions, including the Renewable Energy Law, national demand-side management regulations, and pilot carbon taxes, among others. China has swiftly made itself a clean energy power, in large part by ensuring the availability of copious, affordable capital at a time it has been short in the United States. And the Deutche Bank Climate Change Advisors said in a recent report that there’s a lot more the U.S. could do to create a policy framework that encourages clean energy investment:

Countries with more ‘TLC’ – transparency, longevity and certainty – in their climate policy frameworks will attract more investment and will build new, clean industries, technologies and jobs faster than their policy lagging counterparts. This is particularly evident in countries such as Germany and China, who have emerged as global leaders in low carbon technologies and investment in recent years.  In stark contrast, a politically divided US Congress and vast budget deficit has resulted in very little significant regulation at the Federal level, with substantial implications for emerging clean technology industries in the US. This climate policy inertia has existed for some time in the US now, with activity on this front largely taking place at the state level. We have long argued that the states must continue to press ahead with climate legislation, but a negative effect of this trend is a patchwork of inconsistent state policies.  The net effect is that while Congress stumbles, the US stands to fall behind.

(click here to continue reading Conservative Media Declare That Solar Power “Doesn’t Work” | Media Matters for America.)

 

Footnotes:
  1. the GOP []
  2. the Democrats []

Written by Seth Anderson

September 5th, 2011 at 8:17 am

Posted in environment,government

Tagged with , ,

Reading Around on January 21st

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Some additional reading January 21st from 09:11 to 10:24:

  • The Importance of Active Leisure | Happenchance – Photo Credit: swanksalot (and this post is written by a different Seth)
  • Chess Meisters

  • Gangsters & Speakeasies: Buildings of Historic Chicago « AllPropertyManagement.com – The speakeasy, 1920’s icon. When prohibition began, outlawing the sale of alcohol in the United States paved the way for criminals like Al Capone to come to fruition. And if you think prohibition stopped alcohol, well, then… the word naive comes to mind. Alcohol, if anything, was more rampant in the 1920’s. Want to make something that’s already fun even more popular?? Make it taboo. The “speakeasy” was the slang term for an establishment that illegally sold alcohol during these times. Some were seedy bars, others were extravagant nightclubs filled with the rich and famous. The Green Mill Jazz Club, still open today, was a popular speakeasy back during prohibition and at one point even owned by Jack McGurn, a right hand man of Al Capone. photo credit: swanksalot
  • Green Mill Daguerreotype

  • • Fabriquer la ville durable au Maghreb et en Méditerranée : entre épreuves et modèles. – Illustration : swanksalot, « Solar Panels. Chicago Center for Green Technology », Flickr, 19.6.2008 (licence Creative Commons).
  • Solar Panels - Chicago Center for Green Technology

Written by swanksalot

January 21st, 2010 at 11:00 am

Posted in Links

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Reading Around on May 17th through May 19th

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A few interesting links collected May 17th through May 19th:

  • New York State Aims for 100 MW of Rooftop Solar Power by 2015 : TreeHugger – photo: Seth Anderson via flickr.

    And thanks to TreeHugger staff for learning from their little mistake – proper credit to photographers is not difficult, makes everyone happier, fitter.

  • The 1871 fires – Disarranging Mine – Did you know that on the night the Great Chicago Fire started, October 8, 1871, there were many more fires across the Upper Midwest?
  • Gabriel Villa’s Mural Destroyed « mediating the medium – "I recently received a disturbing e-mail from the artist Gabriel Villa that began with “The city white washed my mural.” In it Villa explained how the mural he began in Chicago’s Bridgeport neighborhood at Kaplan’s Liquors 960 W 31st St, as a part of Version>09 was destroyed by the city only days before its completion. I had been documenting Villa’s progress as a part of this year’s festival and I am sadden by the news of its destruction. He was granted permission by the owner of the building to paint the mural and this forces me to ask, what was the real reason for this censorship?"

    Despicable. Censorship at its most heavy handed. Welcome to Daley's Chicago

Written by swanksalot

May 19th, 2009 at 8:00 am

Posted in Links

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