Fifteen percent by 2021 isn’t nearly as strong as we need, want, or are capable of…BUT given the somber mood in environmental and green business circles over the lack of climate legislation, Congress passing an RES would be a morale booster and send a positive signal to the renewable energy industry. In short, I think if this passes good things will come, just not great things. See Reuters for the story. A couple excerpts are below…
“If the winds blow the way Sen. Jeff Bingaman is predicting, it will mean Congress has the fortitude, gumption—and most importantly the Republican votes—to make a 15 percent renewable electricity standard a reality during the lame-duck session after the midterm election.”
“Bingaman’s stand-alone, 43-page bill, which is so new it doesn’t yet have a number, is known as the “Renewable Electricity Promotion Act of 2010.” Targets and timetables are similar to previous legislation. It requires utilities nationwide to deliver 15 percent of their power from renewable sources, or by ramping up energy efficiency, by 2021. Utilities selling fewer than 4 million megawatt hours annually are exempt.
This version sets the inaugural year at 2012 instead of 2011 because a year has elapsed since the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee passed a bill that didn’t make it to the Senate floor. Qualifying renewables include wind, solar, ocean, geothermal, biomass, landfill gas, hydrokinetic, waste-to-energy and new hydropower at existing dams.”
“Brownback said he is drumming up support. Thus far, Republican Sens. John Ensign of Nevada and Susan Collins of Maine have signed on as co-sponsors of this bill, Bingaman said about gathering 60 votes to make the legislation filibuster-proof.
“People can’t get cute with this,” Brownback said, adding that he would likely pull his support if the bill becomes larded up with amendments on the Senate floor. He added, for instance, that he held off on adding an ethanol measure to the bill to keep it as simple as possible. “If things get on that are extraneous you’re going to see people shuck off of it.”