Julian Hattem - 05/07/13 06:23 PM ET
The oil and gas industry is accusing the Obama administration of side-stepping its procedural rules and rushing a regulation on auto emissions.
In the letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sent on Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute (API) accused the watchdog of violating portions of the Clean Air Act that require new rules to be published in the Federal Register, the government's official ledger for regulations and notices, before accepting comments from the public and holding public hearings.
The proposal on auto emissions, which would require that refiners cut gasoline's sulfur content by more than 60 percent by 2017, was announced by the agency in March, but has not yet been published in the Federal Register. However, a supplemental notice was published in April announcing public hearings and the agency's acceptance of comments through June 13.
"What EPA did was issue a pre-publication version and then start the comment deadline before the rule made it to the Federal Register," explained Patrick Kelly, the API's downstream senior policy adviser.
"What they're doing is rushing the process in order to shorten the time for industry to be able to provide meaningful comment."
In April, the EPA held two hearings on the proposal, in Philadelphia, Pa., and Chicago, Ill. The API testified at both to express its concerns about the procedural issues and its opposition to the rule.
"There's a lot of justification that EPA has purportedly included that we've had scant time to review," added Kelly, who asserted that the EPA should accept comments for 90 days after formally publishing the rule, given the proposal's 938 pages.
"A 37-day comment period, assuming the proposal was published today, would not be enough, and would subvert our statutory procedural rights," API Downstream Group Director Robert
Boehner says he 'probably' can't support online sales tax bill
Bernie Becker - 05/07/13 06:08 PM ET
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Tuesday that he likely couldn’t support the online sales tax bill that the Senate passed this week, underscoring the challenge that supporters face in getting the measure through the lower chamber.
Boehner told Bloomberg Television that the Marketplace Fairness Act, which got 69 votes in the Senate on Monday, would heap a “big burden on some very small businesses.”
"I just think that moving this bill where you have 50 different sales tax codes, it is a mess out there,” Boehner said. “You are going to make it much more difficult for online businesses to be able to comply with it.”
The Speaker, in his most dismissive comments yet on the bill, also said “probably not” when specifically asked if he could support it, and noted once more that the bill would have to go through the House Judiciary Committee, where Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) has outlined an extensive list of concerns about the bill.
Proponents of the online sales tax bill – including big box stores like Wal-Mart, the online giant Amazon and state governments – have said that they had momentum following the lopsided Senate vote, and that a bill could even get to President Obama’s desk this year.
The Marketplace Fairness Act, those groups say, would merely close a loophole exploited by online businesses, and could give states billions in needed extra revenue each year.
The bill would allow states to collect sales tax revenue whenever a resident made an online purchase from a U.S. retailer. Currently, states can only collect from businesses that have a physical location in that state.
But opponents of the group – including prominent small government organizations like Heritage Action and Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform – have long said
Jeff Spross on May 6, 2013 at 3:57 pm
Mother Nature Network just flagged a fun diversion in the solar technology world: the Window Socket.
It’s a portable solar charger, roughly the size of a hockey puck, which uses a suction cup to attach to any available window. It also has a standard electrical plug — though right now it’s only the European standard — so once it’s done charging you can plug an appliance into it right there on the window, or carry it around as a portable electrical outlet.
Obviously, the device would be most useful on a trip, in a plane, a bus, a car, or outdoors — circumstances in which an outlet might be hard to come by.
Besides the lack of an American outlet version, the Window Socket also has a few weaknesses. It takes five to eight hours to charge completely, which is a serious chunk of time, especially in travel situations — though it lasts ten hours after that. Furthermore, as Mother Nature Network notes, the design currently doesn’t deliver enough power for anything other than small electrical devices:
As pointed out by more than a few commenters — the device’s initial appearance over at Yanko Design impressively garnered more than 300 comments — the big drawback here aside from the slow charge time is that the Window Socket’s battery is currently at 1000mAh which isn’t enough juice to really power anything save for a smartphone or other low-voltage mobile gadget.
Though again, if travel situations are what’s primarily under discussion here, than enough juice for your smartphone may be all you need. And presumably, further improvements in technology will bring down the charge time and boost the power delivery.
Other developments in the world of portable solar power include roll-up panels for the military, and a new ultra-thin solar panel design that may be able to fit directly on smartphones and other such devices.
127-Megawatt Utility-Scale Solar Installation Opens In Arizona
May 7, 2013
A massive, 127-megawatt solar power installation was officially opened in Arizona last week. Block 1 (of 5) of the Arlington Valley Solar Energy II (AV Solar II) utility-scale installation is located in Maricopa County in southwest Arizona on about 1,160 acres of land. The rest of the power plant / solar farm will be completed by the fourth quarter of 2013 — one of the beauties of solar power plants is the speed at which they can go up.
Kyocera, one of the world’s biggest solar module manufacturers, has supplied 25 MW of solar panels for the project.
“Today’s opening of the AV Solar II mega-installation marks a major milestone in Kyocera’s four decades of manufacturing high-quality, long-lasting solar modules,” said Steve Hill, president of Kyocera Solar Inc. “We’re proud to provide U.S.-made products to this utility-scale installation, which adds to the mega-installations around the world showcasing Kyocera’s unrivaled solar solutions including a 204MW project in Thailand and a 70MW installation in Kagoshima, Japan.”
Kyocera is a Kyoto-based company. However, it has US headquarters in Arizona.
May 7, 2013 Important Media Cross-Post
I don’t think a day goes by when there isn’t another record broken in the solar industry. Here’s one of the latest, courtesy sister site Green Building Elements and Business Wire:
NRG Energy, Inc., through its wholly owned subsidiary NRG Solar, announced that it will commemorate the opening of the Alpine Solar Generating Facility in Lancaster, Calif., at a ribbon-cutting event [late last week].
The 66 megawatt (AC) Alpine solar photovoltaic facility, which started commercial operations earlier this year, is currently the largest fully operational solar plant in California. The cost-competitive, renewable power generated by the facility is being sold to PG&E under a 20-year power purchase agreement.
“The opening of Alpine marks a dramatic shift in the way energy is generated in California,” said Randy Hickok, senior vice president of NRG Solar. “As the largest operating photovoltaic facility in the state, Alpine is not only providing PG&E with a renewable source of energy, but contributing to cleaner air and a smaller carbon footprint for the state, ultimately helping meet California’s renewable portfolio standards.”
Located in northern Los Angeles County, Alpine will generate enough energy to meet the annual needs of approximately 53,000 homes at peak daytime capacity. Because the facility produces electricity without fossil fuels, it helps avoid the annual emission of 36,000 tons of carbon into the atmosphere, or the equivalent of taking 6,600 cars off the road.
Alpine is one of eight large-scale photovoltaic solar facilities owned by NRG that currently produces clean solar power for thousands of homes and businesses in three states. The other seven completed or partially completed plants are Agua Caliente (under construction) and Avra Valley in Arizona; Roadrunner in New Mexico; and Avenal, Blythe, Borrego and
Report: Sen. Flake open to switching vote on background checks
By Daniel Strauss - 05/07/13 12:21 PM ET
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) on Tuesday suggested he could reverse his opposition to legislation expanding background checks for gun purchases.
Flake told CNN on Tuesday that he voted against a Senate amendment on background checks negotiated by Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) because it would have made background checks on gun sales over the Internet too costly.
He said he was willing to change his position if his concerns about Internet sales were met.
After the CNN report, Flake posted a message on Twitter that underlined his continued opposition to Manchin-Toomey:
Flake's comments come as Democrats seek to hold another vote on the gun legislation. In April, the so-called Manchin-Toomey bill failed to win the 60 votes it needed to pass the Senate. Flake was one of the 46 senators that voted against the bill.
Since voting against the measure, Flake has faced criticism from groups advocating stricter gun laws. A recent poll also found Flake's approval rating at 32 percent. Flake suggested his vote on the background check legislation was largely to blame for the low approval numbers.
Zack Colman - 05/07/13 11:09 AM ET
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will not regulate methane emissions from coal mines, the agency said in a document made public Tuesday.
EarthJustice had petitioned the EPA to use the Clean Air Act to set methane emissions rules for coal mines. The EPA denied that request in an April 30 decision, which will be published Wednesday in the Federal Register.
The EPA cited budgetary constraints and a need for the agency to “prioritize its actions."
EarthJustice and other green groups have pushed the Obama administration to use the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, as the White House did when it proposed emissions rules for new coal-fired power plants.
Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), the top Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) quickly questioned the EPA’s decision not to regulate methane emissions from coal mines.
The liberal lawmakers have consistently pushed Obama to pull administrative levers on climate issues while Capitol Hill appears immovable on the issue.
In a Tuesday letter to acting EPA Administrator Bob Perciasepe, the lawmakers said the EPA erred in choosing not to regulate the nation’s fourth-largest source of methane emissions and that its reason — financial issues — was not sufficient.
“[T]he threat of climate change is so large and the window for action is so narrow that we do not have the luxury of ignoring any significant source of emissions,” Waxman and Whitehouse wrote.
The Clean Air Act requires the EPA to regulate pollutants that endanger the public health. A 2007 Supreme Court ruling added greenhouse gas emissions into that category.
Republicans and industry have pushed back against the EPA’s use of the Clean Air Act to regulate emissions from stationary sources. They say the agency used a legally questionable
Contact your representatives
Contact Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio
Bernie Becker and Mike Lillis - 05/07/13 12:10 PM ET
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) suggested Tuesday that the online sales tax legislation that easily cleared the Senate this week was not one of the House's top priorities.
Boehner referred reporters at a news conference to the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), who has expressed concerns about the Senate bill.
“I think they have jurisdiction over this. I've not talked to him about it,” Boehner said. “I don't know what his intent is, in terms of whether he's interested in moving it through his committee or not.”
“I'm for regular order,” Boehner added, when pressed about whether he is personally interested in the bill.
The Senate passed the bipartisan Marketplace Fairness Act by a 69 to 27 vote on Monday, with most Democrats — except for five who represent states without a sales tax — backing the bill.
Senate Republicans split roughly down the middle — 21 for, and 22 against — on the proposal. The breakdown underscores that the measure likely faces a rockier path in the GOP-controlled House.
But retail groups and state governments, which could gain more than $20 billion in new revenue each year under the bill, have made the sales tax measure a major priority. Because of that, Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and other GOP leaders will find themselves under intense pressure to bring the bill to the floor, according to a leading House Democrat.
“I think the overwhelming number of Democrats are for this bill, I think a large number of Republicans are for this bill,” Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) told reporters shortly after Boehner’s comments. “I think they're going to get a lot of pressure from retail people in their states who are having to compete with online sellers who don't pay tax.”
Currently, states can only charge sales tax
Solar Stocks Paying for First Solar’s Miss: Suntech Power, MEMC Electronic Materials, , GT Advanced Technologies, Trina Solar, JA Solar Holdings
Posted : May 07, 2013
Solar stocks declined sharply after First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) missed earnings after the close of business on Monday and its paying dearly for the disappointment. It was not long ago when First Solar gained nearly 50%, on April 9, after issuing an extremely hopeful, some would say aggressive, forecast for the next few years at their investor day meeting. Investors seem reacting on failure of the company to back up their talk. The company gave a boost to China’s solar stocks last month, and now they’re paying for its miss.
FSLR was down 9% to $43.50.
Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd. (ADR) (NYSE:STP) fell 3.9% today after keeping its Monday’s decline at -1.05% on below -normal volume of 2.17M shares. The stock settled at $0.605 after floating in a range of $0.58 to $0.62. Significantly, its latest price of $0.605 is at a discount of -42.52% to its 200-day moving average price of $1.06. Its 52-week range has been $0.30 to $2.67; it is trading at a discount of -77.34% to its 52-week high and a premium of 101.67% to its 52-week low.
MEMC Electronic Materials, Inc. (NYSE:WFR) fell 4% today after trading up on a volume of 4.40 million, lower than its standard daily volume on Monday. Shares have as added 1.48% to $5.50. Over the last twelve months, the stock has gained 52.35% and faced a worst price of $1.44 on Jun 5, 2012). The stock has moved up across its 50-day moving average of $4.63.
GT Advanced Technologies Inc (NASDAQ:GTAT) declined 3% after ending -1.30% lower at $3.79 on below-normal volume of 2.85M shares during the last trading day. The most recent price of this stock was at a discount of -46.54% to the 12-month high of
May 6, 2013
Net sales of $755 million
Non-GAAP EPS of $0.69 per fully diluted share
GAAP EPS of $0.66 per fully diluted share
Cash and Marketable Securities of $1 billion
Maintains full-year 2013 guidance
TEMPE, Ariz.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) today announced financial results for the first quarter of 2013. Net sales were $755 million in the quarter, a decrease of $320 million from the fourth quarter of 2012 and an increase of $258 million from the first quarter of 2012. The decrease in net sales from the fourth quarter of 2012 was primarily due to less revenue recognition from our systems business projects primarily related to the Topaz project, while the increase over the first quarter of 2012 was primarily due to higher sales volumes for third-party module sales and an increase in revenue from systems projects.
The Company reported first quarter net income per fully diluted share of $0.66, compared to $1.74 in the fourth quarter of 2012 and a loss of $5.20 in the first quarter of 2012, which included $444 million in pre-tax restructuring charges and costs in excess of normal warranty. The first quarter of 2013 was impacted by pre-tax restructuring charges of $2 million (reducing EPS by $0.03), compared to $25 million (reducing EPS by $0.30) in the fourth quarter of 2012. In both cases the pre-tax charges related to previously announced restructuring actions. The sequential decrease in earnings was primarily due to higher revenue recognition for Topaz in the fourth quarter of 2012, temporary construction delays at the AVSR project, and previously planned lower manufacturing utilization as the Company accelerated efforts to upgrade production lines, which is expected to enable the Company to achieve near term targets on its module cost and efficiency improvement roadmaps.
Cash and Marketable Securities at the end of the first quarter were approximately $1 billion, esse
EPA to defend its greenhouse gas emission rules tomorrow
Jeremy P. Jacobs and Jean Chemnick, E&E reporters
Greenwire: Monday, May 6, 2013
U.S. EPA will return to court tomorrow to defend its regulations for fighting climate change from multiple challenges by Texas and industry groups.
At issue before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit are two cases that center on EPA's implementation of greenhouse gas air emissions standards under the Clean Air Act after the agency determined the emissions endangered public health.
Both center on EPA's efforts to review state permitting programs for planned major facilities to ensure that greenhouse gas emissions were considered along with other pollutants regulated under the Clean Air Act.
In one case, Texas, Wyoming and several major industry groups argue that EPA rushed its review of the so-called state implementation plans, or SIPs, and "coerced" states into complying by threatening a ban on construction of new facilities.
In the second, Texas is challenging EPA's decision to retroactively revoke its SIP because the Lone Star State refused to add greenhouse gases to its permitting program.
The petitions are part of a concerted effort by opponents of EPA greenhouse gas regulations to win back some of the territory they have lost since 2007, when the Supreme Court ruled in Massachusetts v. EPA that EPA must consider regulating heat-trapping emissions under the Clean Air Act, as well as subsequent similar rulings.
The first case comes from a broad industry coalition, including the Utility Air Regulatory Group and National Mining Association. When EPA began regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act in 2010, the agency issued its "tailoring rule" -- providing a way for large stationary emitters to be phased into coverage. A key component of
... First Solar seeks 5.5 gigawatts of sales to fill pipeline ...
May 7, 2013 at 6:59 am by Bloomberg
First Solar Inc. (FSLR), the largest U.S. solar manufacturer by shipments, said it’s pursuing as much #$%$5 gigawatts of prospective sales, mainly in the Americas, after its pipeline of orders was unchanged in the first quarter.
The company reported $8 billion in expected revenue at the end of the first quarter, unchanged from the end of December, Chief Executive Officer Jim Hughes said during a conference call yesterday.
The company expects results in the second half of the year to be better than in the first half, reversing an earlier forecast, as it acquires new solar farms that will use its panels. Of the 5.5 gigawatts of potential orders, about 700 megawatts comes from mid- to late-stage projects that are nearing construction, Hughes said.
“We are focusing on replenishing our pipeline in 2014 and beyond,” Hughes said.
That includes projects in Chile, Canada and a “steady diet” of stranded solar projects that developers can’t complete in California and elsewhere in the U.S. Southwest, he said. The company forecasts its results using expected revenue from panels it will install at solar farms it’s developing and contracted sales to other developers.
Net income in the quarter was $59.1 million, or 66 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier loss of $449 million, or $5.20 a share, the Tempe, Arizona-based company said in a statement after the close of regular trading yesterday. Sales climbed 52 percent to $755.2 million. Excluding some one-time expenses related to restructuring, earnings of 69 cents a share were six cents less than the average of 17 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
The shortfall in the quarter isn’t as important as the company’s long-term prospects, said Sanjay Shrestha, an analyst at Lazard Capital Markets LLC in New York.
“We weren’t so focused on the quarter, as numbers will..
Zack Colman - 05/07/13 05:00 AM ET
Lawmakers who back natural-gas exports are trying to woo skeptical Democrats by arguing the sales would boost American power at the expense of Russia and Iran.
Russia has long dominated the market for natural gas in the Eastern hemisphere, with Iran being another major supplier. But booming production in the United States presents an opportunity to undercut those countries by selling more natural gas abroad, including to allies like Japan and India, boosters say.
Supporters of increased exports are increasingly citing the geopolitical benefits as they try to win over Democrats, many of whom fear shipping more natural gas abroad would cause price increases back home.
The issue will be front and center on Tuesday during a hearing of a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee that will feature testimony from two former Democratic senators — Byron Dorgan (N.D.) and Bennett Johnston (La.).
Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.), who serves on the subcommittee, said the geopolitical aspect of the export debate has the potential to bring the two parties together.
Terry was part of a bipartisan coalition of current and former lawmakers that met over the weekend with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Energy Minister Taner Yildiz. He said the Turkish officials indicated they would buy natural gas from the United States — instead of from Iran — if they had the option.
“He told us that, if the U.S. would sell them natural gas, then he would buy it today, and he wouldn’t have to buy it from anywhere else,” Terry said of Yildiz. “That’s a way we can shore up an ally in an unstable region that we need as an ally.”
The House hearing on Tuesday will touch on 20 proposals under Energy Department (DOE) review that would green light exports to nations that lack a free-trade agreement with the United States.
Such deals face more ...
Published 6 May 2013
Southeast Asia is showing a rising number of high quality investment opportunities in renewable energy (RE) sources, according to a new report.
Produced by clean energy investment firm Armstrong Asset Management, the report entitled, Entering a New Phase of Growth: Renewable Energy in SE Asia, analysed the region for its potential for renewable energy, citing opportunities in solar photovoltaics (PV), wind, hydro and biomass or biogas, and interest from both debt and equity providers to invest in them.
Compared to the price for power generation from marginal fossil fuel on an unsubsidised base, renewable energy offers Southeast Asia clean and secure power at fixed long-term rates that are lower in price.
Here is an overview of the report’s findings, together with some highlights of the investment opportunities and why renewable energy is worth investing on. Some key points first:
•It is now cheaper to produce renewable energy in some Southeast Asia countries than bulk grid power from imported natural gas and fuel oil;
•The cost advantage of renewable energy continues to grow in SE Asia as pricing, environmental and security risks associated with imported fossil fuels are more accurately evaluated;
•SE Asia has excellent renewable resources but rely on a high level of fuel oil for power generation due to their sprawling geographies and inadequate grid infrastructure;
•ASEAN-5 (Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam and Malaysia) will need to install between 168 and 192GW of new power generation capacity by 2025 to maintain its projected economic growth rate of 5.8%;
•Governments in all Southeast Asian markets are significantly expanding their commitment to renewable energy as a proportion of the energy mix.
From 2000 through 2006, however, the emerging markets of ASEAN-5 generally adopted a cautious approach to the development of renewable
Anadarko income falls after year-earlier tax settlement
May 6, 2013 at 3:28 pm by Bloomberg
A natural gas well in the Greater Natural Buttes (Photo: Anadarko)
Anadarko Petroleum Corp., the oil explorer that’s been expanding production in Colorado and Texas, said first-quarter profit declined after a $1.8 billion tax-related gain boosted earnings last year.
Net income fell to $460 million, or 91 cents a share, from $2.16 billion, or $4.28, a year earlier, The Woodlands-based company said in a statement on Marketwired Monday. Excluding certain one-time items, earnings rose 15 percent to $547 million, or $1.08 a share, 13 cents more than the 95-cent average of 28 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
Anadarko is the U.S. oil and natural gas producer with the biggest market capitalization after ConocoPhillips among companies that don’t own refineries or a chemical unit. It has seen rising oil output from projects such as the Wattenberg field in Colorado and Texas’ Eagle Ford Shale, as well as gas output from the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania. Anadarko’s exploration includes work in the Gulf of Mexico and off the coast of Africa.
Brent crude futures, a global benchmark, fell 4.9 percent from a year earlier to average $112.64 a barrel in the first quarter. Gas futures traded in New York averaged $3.48 per million British thermal units in the quarter, a 39 percent increase from a year earlier.
Monday’s earnings report was issued after the close of regular trading on U.S. markets. Anadarko rose 1.2 percent to $87.62 at the close in New York.
PHOTOS/ The Big Picture: Today's Hot Pics!
The former Fugee packs some extra musical fire power at the Sirius-XM Satellite Radio studios in New York.
Bernie Becker and Ramsey Cox - 05/06/13 06:59 PM ET
The Senate on Monday approved legislation that would for the first time allow states to collect billions of dollars in online sales tax revenue from out-of-state purchases.
The 69-27 vote is a major victory for retail groups and state governments, who for years have fought to close what they see as a loophole that allows as much as $23 billion in annual taxes from online sales to go uncollected.
“I’ve been saying it for the past 12 years,” lead sponsor Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) said ahead of the vote. “This bill is about fairness, it’s about leveling the playing field for brick-and-mortar shops.”
The measure split Republicans senators, as 22 Republicans voted no in addition to five Democrats. Nineteen Republicans supported the measure.
Supporters said the overwhelming vote in the Senate will give the bill momentum as it heads to the House. They hope to get a bill to President Obama’s desk by the end of 2013.
Opponents, including some well-known conservative groups and the online retailer eBay, have vowed to keep up the fight in the House, where the path forward is less clear. They argue forcing small businesses to play tax collector for other states would be a huge burden, and that the bill would open retailers up to increased audits and compliance costs.
“Today the Senate is voting on whether to take a few more inches off the little guy,” Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) said. “I fear that what we’re going to do is crush some of those start-ups. ... This is a deeply flawed piece of legislation, [and] this debate will continue.”
The bill, which is backed by online powerhouse Amazon, empowers states to collect taxes on purchases made online by consumers in their states from out-of-state retailers. Under current law, states can only collect from companies that are physically located within their borders.
Ramsey Cox and Bernie Becker - 05/06/13 01:32 PM ET
The Senate is poised to approve legislation that would give states greater authority to collect sales taxes on goods sold online by out-of-state retailers.
Filibuster-proof majorities have already signaled their support for the bill in a series of procedural votes, and the upper chamber is scheduled to vote on final passage of the Marketplace Fairness Act shortly after 5:30 p.m.
Senate passage will be seen as a major victory for retail groups and state governments, who have fought for years for a bill they say will close a long-standing loophole and return as much as $23 billion in lost revenue.
The bill would empower states to collect taxes on purchases made online by consumers in their states from out-of-state retailers. Under current law, states can only collect from companies that are physically located within their borders.
Supporters say that bipartisan Senate approval will give S. 743 momentum in the House. But even though the legislation has the support of several prominent GOP governors, the bill’s path in the Republican-controlled lower chamber remains uncertain.
Opponents, including some well-known conservative groups and the online retailer eBay, have vowed to keep up the fight in the lower chamber, and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), has outlined a host of concerns about the measure.
But Goodlatte and other leading Republican lawmakers, like Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), have also suggested that the current set-up leaves brick-and-mortar businesses at a disadvantage.
Some senators in states without a sales tax tried blocking progress on the bill, arguing it would burden retailers in their states by forcing them to collect taxes for other state governments. Conservatives opposing the measure say it’s “a job-killing tax hike.”