Federal Renewable Electricity Standard in 2010?
Tomorrow, Senators Bingaman (D-NM) and Brownback (R-KS) will introduce a stand-alone renewable electricity standard measure. They claim that this standard has bi-partisan support, which will be supported by the large group of Democrats and Republicans who will be standing-by at the bill’s unveiling.
If passed, this renewable electricity standard (RES) would put a federal requirement that each utility supply a percentage of their electricity using renewable energy sources. According to reports, bill supporters hope to pass this legislation before the end of the year – in spite of looming mid-term elections.
Bingaman, chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, has long pushed for a renewable mandate. His committee passed an energy package last summer that included a 15 percent standard. Brownback was a key Republican vote for that measure and has repeatedly said he would support a modest RES.
“I think that the votes are present in the Senate to pass a renewable electricity standard,” Bingaman said in a statement. “I think that they are present in the House. I think that we need to get on with figuring out what we can pass and move forward.”
A requirement for fixed minimum levels of renewable electricity generation was “once considered a shoo-in for inclusion” in the cap & trade bill that died earlier this year. But, it could not gain traction and was subsequently put out to pasture when Reid eliminated the provision from a proposed energy and oil spill-response package.