Bingaman and Brownback to Introduce Stand Alone RES Bill

Posted on September 21, 2010. Filed under: News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

**Update 9/22** Bingaman, Brownback and supporters introduced the RES bill yesterday afternoon. View The Hill’s coverage here.

Senator Bingaman (D-NM), chair of the Senate Energy Committee, and Senator Brownback (R-KS) will introduce legislation for a 15% Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) with a group of non-partisan senators including Sue Collins (R-ME) and Byron Dorgan (D-ND).

According to Bingaman’s staffers, the bill is similar in structure to the one introduced by the Senator last year in that it requires states to generate 15% of their electricity from renewable sources such as wind, solar and hydrogen by 2021. Up to a quarter of this can be met through energy efficiency measures.

In July, Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D-NV) pulled renewable energy targets from his energy bill out of concern that it would not gain the 60 votes necessary to pass the senate. However, Bingaman has indicated that he is confident that this new legislation will be able to pass saying,

“I think that the votes are present in the Senate to pass a renewable electricity standard…I think that we need to get on with figuring out what we can pass and move forward.”

Yesterday, Senator Bingaman penned an op-ed for Politico in which he expressed the dire need for progress on clean technology and energy in the US. In this piece, Bingaman called for a Clean Energy Development Administration (CEDA) to provide sustainable financial support to developing renewable technologies. Part of this is a “patient capital” approach to funding, which would stimulate the development and scaling up of new technologies, allowing the US clean tech industry to compete on the global level with emerging powerhouses like China. Senator Bingaman sums up the urgency of moving forward despite the political difficulties:

“A broad comprehensive energy bill may not be possible in this Congress. But action on common-sense bipartisan proposals like CEDA should not be put off. If we want to realize the energy security, environmental security and economic benefits of the clean energy revolution, then the investments we need in clean energy technology deployment cannot wait…The investment choices we make now will dramatically shape the world in which our children and grandchildren live. The longer we wait to address our clean energy challenges, the higher the hill they will have to climb.”

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