Thursday, February 05, 2009

Markey-Platts Introduce Renewable & Efficiency Standards Bills

Feb 4: In a bi-partisan effort to create jobs and re-power the American energy sector, Representatives Edward Markey (D-MA) and Todd Platts (R-PA) introduced a renewable electricity standard [RES or RPS (Renewable Portfolio Standard)] that would ensure that America is generating a quarter of its electricity from clean energy sources by 2025 (H.R. 890, American Renewable Energy Act). To compliment this expansion of clean energy with effective energy efficiency measures, Representative Markey also introduced an energy efficiency standard [EES] that will cost-effectively cut electricity demand (H.R. 889, Save American Energy Act). The two measures will create more than a half million jobs and will save consumers more than $180 billion. Markey is the Chair of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence & Global Warming and the Chair of the House Environment and Energy Subcommittee of the House Energy & Commerce Committee.

Representative Markey said, “With our economy in crisis, renewable energy can create hundreds of thousands of new green jobs, revitalize declining manufacturing sectors, and decrease global warming pollution. If we follow an ambitious clean energy path, American families will save money, construction and manufacturing workers will be back on the job, and our environment will be safer for generations to come. Massachusetts and more than half of the country already have renewable energy standards, and so should our entire nation.” Representative Platts said, “This legislation takes a significant step -- similar to what is already taking place in many states, including my home state of Pennsylvania -- to help ensure America reduces its dependency on foreign oil and creates a more stable energy supply for our nation. Establishing a federal Renewable Electricity Standard will help to protect our environment as well as promote economic development and energy security.”

According to a release from Markey, twenty-seven states and the District of Columbia have passed renewable electricity requirements, and "a national standard will further unleash technology innovation and put Americans back to work, creating more than 350,000 green jobs over the next decade." The Save American Energy Act would institute an energy efficiency resource standard that reduces electricity demand by fifteen percent by 2020.

Markey's release indicates that efficiency measures are "not only the fastest, cheapest and cleanest source of energy, they will also lead to $130 billion in consumer savings over the next 20 years. Efficiency measures in the Save American Energy Act will lead to the creation of 260,000 new jobs, putting people to work in retrofitting buildings and weatherizing homes. As efficiency measures decrease energy consumption, The Save American Energy Act will reduce peak electricity demand by 90,000 megawatts by 2020, eliminating the need to build 300 medium-size power plants."

The Union of Concerned Scientists' (UCS) preliminary analysis of the legislation indicates that the Markey-Platts bill would boost renewable energy generation by 135 percent above and beyond current policies between now and 2025. Alan Nogee, UCS Clean Energy Program director said, "This electrifying standard would provide a smart, proven, cost-effective strategy to ramp up our clean energy use, create tens of thousands of jobs, and lower consumer utility bills. The clean energy tax incentives that Congress is finalizing will get us moving in the right direction in the near term, and the renewable energy standard makes sure we stay on that path for the foreseeable future."

UCS said in the coming weeks it will release a more comprehensive analysis of a 25-by-2025 proposal. UCS also maintains the RES Toolkit that provides comprehensive information on each existing state renewable electricity standard for experts and concerned citizens (See link below).

Access a release from Representative Markey (click here). Access legislative details for H.R. 889 (click here). Access legislative details for H.R. 890 (click here). Access a release from UCS (click here). Access the UCS RES Toolkit (click here). [*Energy]