New Bills Push for U.S. Renewable Energy and Efficiency Standards

The Renewable Energy Standard bill introduced by Senators Mark Udall (D-Colo.) and Tom Udall (D-N.M.) this week would require the country’s utilities to draw 25% of their power from wind, solar and other renewable sources by 2025.

The Solar Energy Industries Association supports the bill, saying in a release that it can replicate nationwide the success that certain states have had with their own renewable energy standards.

In addition to spurring jobs, the requirements would decrease pollution and provide nearly $100 million in utility bill savings for consumers by 2030, according to its sponsors. 

The Udalls are first cousins who introduced a similar proposal in 2002 while serving in the House, and renewed their effort when they were elected to the Senate in 2008.

In a separate announcement, newly elected Massachusetts Senator Edward Markey (D-Mass.) has introduced a similar clean energy bill, called the American Renewable Energy and Efficiency Act.

In Markey’s bill, utilities would also have until 2025 to reach the 25% mark. Electric and natural gas utilities would be required to put in place energy efficiency programs aimed at saving the equivalent of 15% and 10% of sales, respectively by 2025. The bill also would lead to a CO2 emissions reduction equivalent to what 120 coal-fire powered plants put out and drive more than $200 billion in new capital investments in renewable energy technology, his website notes. 

“We can put steelworkers and ironworkers and electricians back to work building the new energy backbone for America, from Massachusetts to Montana,” Markey said.

Tags: Policy

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