Washington Examiner: Wind Industry Wins Key Victory in Senate

The wind energy industry won a key victory Tuesday in the Senate Finance Committee that extended an important tax credit for renewables.

The tax extenders bill, approved 23-3 in committee, now progresses to the full Senate, where it faces another round of votes. A companion bill also must advance in the House to extend the wind credits through next year.

The wind energy industry remains optimistic that it will clear both chambers, saying the wind credits receive bipartisan support in more than 70 percent of congressional districts where the wind industry thrives.

IEEFA: New China Data Shows How the Coal Export Industry Is At Risk

Statistics for the first six months of the year released this week by China’s National Energy Administration show the continuation of a major electricity sector transformation, with profound ramifications for the coal export industry.

While China’s electricity demand grew by 1.3 percent year-over-year from June through January, its coal consumption dropped by 5 percent, building on the 3 percent decline reported in the full year of 2014.

What it comes down to is that China has decoupled its economic growth from its coal usage. These new figures starkly demonstrate that while electricity demand continues to rise and GDP growth remains at a level that would turn any Western treasury green with envy, coal consumption is rapidly declining as the country focuses on shifting to an “everything but coal” energy mix.

SNL: Coal Investors Brace for Dark Earnings Season

The second quarter was another dark period for those in the business of selling coal, and most of the publicly traded producers in the space will likely have little good news to report to investors in the coming weeks.

The sector has taken a beating from low prices in both the domestic and international markets, with that weakness spread across both the thermal and metallurgical coal fronts. New regulations from various branches of the Obama administration seemingly have not only erected barriers to a future comeback from persistently low natural gas prices, but also soured investors on coal's potential.

"Pressure on the group has accelerated, and no covered companies appear immune with shares sharply lower. […] Unsurprisingly, challenging results should be expected across the space," Cowen & Co. analyst Daniel Scott said of the coal sector in a report titled "2Q15 Coal Preview: Make the Bad Man Stop."

London South East: U.K. Government Continues Cuts to Renewable Energy Subsidies

U.K. Secretary of Energy and Climate Change Amber Rudd on Wednesday scrapped further renewable energy subsidies, specifically for solar and biomass, in the new Conservative government's latest move to try to control what it considers over-expenditure and spiraling consumer bills.

Last week, press reports revealed the Department of Energy and Climate Change had already overspent its budget to support renewable energy projects over the next five years by GBP1.50 billion, which The Telegraph said caused household energy bills to rise GBP120 per year as a direct result of "ill-thought-through" climate change policies and the costs of running energy networks.

Washington Post: Uber’s War With New York Is Getting Serious

The city council is poised to decide on a pair of laws that would limit Uber to adding about 200 new drivers this year -- to an existing pool of around 26,000 -- while the city studies the impact of new app-based transportation services on traffic congestion. Mayor Bill de Blasio has called the cap a "short pause" while the city ponders how to handle a massive influx of new drivers-for-hire. Uber has called it an existential threat to its business model in the company's most prized market.

The confrontation, several weeks in the making, has escalated into a bare-knuckled political fight. Uber has taken out TV ads suggesting, not so subtly, that de Blasio is defending his "big taxi donors" at the expense of minority communities that rely on Uber for jobs and transportation.