Energy News: Lakota Activists Arrested Blocking Tar Sands Trucks, Plus US Boosts Wind Power Support

S John Davey/CC BY-ND 2.0

No one ever said the transition from dirty fossil fuels to renewable energy would be swift, neat, or orderly.

Pine Ridge Reservation Residents Start Tar Sands Blockade
Debra White Plume, quoted in Censored News, after being arrested and charged with disorderly conduct along with four other Lakota activists in Kyle, South Dakota:

We formed a blockade to stop tar sands oil mine equipment from passing our lands. The truckers told us the corporation office from Calgary, Alberta, Canada and the State of South Dakota made a deal to save the truckers $50,000 a truck [by passing through the reservation]. There were about 50 to 75 people on the blockade at the village of Wanbli in Eagle District on the northern side of the Pine Ridge rez. We oppose the tar sands oil mine in solidarity with Mother Earth and our First Nation allies.

Read more.

South Dakota Legislature Approves Wind Power Tax Refunds
Via Huffington Post:

The House voted 52-16 to accept the Senate's version of the bill, which would provide tax refunds beginning in January 2013 for wind energy projects or environmental upgrades at power plants costing more than $50 million. Supporters said it would usher along a couple of wind energy projects and would help Big Stone Power Plant make environmental upgrades required by the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

Under the program roughly half of the taxes on construction for large-scale wind power projects would refunded.

Department of Energy Starts Offshore Wind Innovation Fund
The DoE has announced it is making $180 million available over the next six years to support up to four offshore wind farms, either in salt water or in the Great Lakes. The funding will be released annually in $20 million increments, covering up to 80% of a project's design costs and 50% of hardware and installation costs. More at Business Green.

Wind Turbines' Power Production Hugely Outpaces Energy Needed to Build Them
A bit of rehashing and perhaps just confirming intuition: The Guardian reports that a new survey, based on data from the past three decades, shows that the average wind farm produces 20-25 times more energy over its lifetime than is expended in constructing both the turbines and installing them at the project site. The average payback time per time, that is how long before the 'carbon debt' incurred in making it is offset by clean energy, is just 3-6 months.

Think Renewable Energy Standards Will Drive Electricity Prices Up? Think Again
Think Progress has a good breakdown of the situation:

According to Energy Information Administration data, from 2000-2010, the presence of a renewable electricity standard has no statistically significant impact on how much rates changed over that decade.

Tags: Tar Sands | United States | Wind Power