Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Simply Remarkable

Even though the Democrats get an “F” on protecting our civil rights, they do get an A on passing the first ever national renewable energy portfolio requirement standard.

And even though some might argue that the bill will not make it through the conference committee, a leading environmentalist just told me that he thought it just might.

Also, it appears that the lower numbers that were passed in the bill were requirements in energy not capacity. That means that this portfolio requirement is more substantial than it might appear.

Here’s the story from Renewable Energy Access:

Progress in Washington:
House Passes Solar Tax Credits & RPS
by Chris Stimpson,

Washington, DC

Last Friday the U.S. House of Representatives, in an unusual move, extended the final week of its session into Saturday in order to finish debate on vital legislation before recessing for the summer. The outstanding business included two crucial bills affecting renewable energy development in the U.S.

The bills, HR969 and HR2776, had been slated for debate in the final week of the session but were in danger of being elbowed out by the sheer pressure of other business, including health care, ethics and agriculture. HR969 is designed to create a national renewable portfolio standard (RPS) for electricity production, while HR2776 will extend through 2012 the tax credit for the production of electricity from renewable resources.

These bills, amendments to the larger Clean Energy Bill passed in June, are considered by many observers and industry experts to be vital to kick-starting the growth of clean energy production. The final vote tally on the overall bill was 241-172.

In an effort to garner broad support for HR969 legislators recently modified the language of the bill, which originally specified that utilities would have to provide 20% of their electricity from renewable sources by the year 2020; this target figure has now been reduced to 15%.

"A 15% federal standard brings even more support from diverse regions of the country, further demonstrating the broad support for establishing the first ever federal standard of this kind," said Representative Tom Udall (D-NM), co-sponsor of the bill.

The RPS legislation was further modified toward the end of last week to split the 15% requirement into two parts: at least 11% for renewable sources, and a maximum of 4% for energy efficiency. This latter figure imposes a quantifiable responsibility on utilities to help users of electricity, particularly large industrial customers, to use it more efficiently. clip

If enacted into law, the RPS will be 2.75 percent by 2010, gradually increasing thereafter to meet the 2020 goal. Suppliers can meet these requirements by purchasing credits from other entities who have obtained credits by producing renewable energy. It also allows utilities to bank credits for three years, and to borrow credits from up to three years in the future.

Only 26 Republicans voted for the overall bill. Ralph Hall, a Texan Republican, complained of a war being waged against fossil fuel energy. "
"I can't understand the pure venom felt against the oil and gas industry," he said.

Can’t understand the pure venom?

I guess Ralph prefers the real oil wars for fossil fuels instead.

Can't understand the pure venom?

I guess Ralph likes to believe that the coming change of climate has nothing to do with humankind placing a trillion barrels of burned fuel into its atmosphere. (in addition to the coal)

Can't understand the pure venom?

I guess Ralph likes the way the oil companies have lied about the science of climate change and have paid pseudo scientists to confuse the public.

Can't understand the pure venom?

In all fairness,

he probably doesn't.

The POTUS says he will veto it.

Simply Remarkable

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Blogger Timothy B. Hurst said...

OZ - I like your take on the destruction wreaked by our carbon-based infrastructure. I wish I was as hopeful as you are that the bill will not be vetoed. I think that the conference committee would need to soften its already weak language considerably for the Pres. to sign it. Right now, nobody is in love with the oil companies politically (even though they are making money people lots of money) so I think the elimination of the tax break in favor of renewable investment is feasible. But, the 15% RPS should have been 20 and I think the bill could have included CAFE standard. Check out

ecopolitology.blogspot.com for more on this subject.

6:10 PM  
Blogger Tom Gray said...

Thanks for your support on this critical issue. As you note, still many steps before the renewable electricity standard becomes law, but House passage was a huge first step. We will need to keep the pressure on in the House-Senate conference committee and when the conference report returns to the Senate floor.


Thomas O. Gray
American Wind Energy Association
Wind Energy Works!

11:06 AM  

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