Senate bill to ramp up renewable energy
Senate bill requires states and utilities to increase renewable power
Legislation builds on state efforts to replace fossil fuels with clean energy
A new bill filed today by Sens. Tom Udall, Senator Martin Heinrich, Senator Tina Smith, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, and Senator Angus King will put the U.S. on track for at least 50 percent renewable electricity nationwide by 2035.The Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) Act of 2019, which requires all states to steadily increase their use of renewable sources like wind and solar each year. It builds on the wave of ambitious renewable energy policies in the states and is designed to ensure that renewable energy advances in every state.
“We need to put America on a path to a clean energy transition on a scale that matches the size of our environmental challenges,”said Bridget Sanderson State Director of Environment Missouri. “This bill will provide a major boost by laying the foundation for renewable energy progress everywhere.”
The bill would establish a floor for existing renewable sources in every state and require each state to add new renewable electricity generation by 1.5 percent in 2020, 2 percent annually each year through 2029 and then 2.5 percent each year through 2035. The guidelines are projected to get the U.S to at least 50 percent renewable electricity by 2035 and put the nation on track to get at least 80 percent of its power from renewable energy power sources by mid-century, according to recent modeling..
Ambitious state renewable energy programs have surged nationally over the past five years. In 2015, Hawaii started this trend by establishing a goal to use 100 percent clean energy by 2045. Since then, California, New Mexico, Washington, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia have all made similar commitments. In the past 18 months, many other states, including Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, and New York have improved their major increases of their renewable electricity standards. Here in Missouri, St. Louis and Kansas City government buildings have plans to power themselves with renewable energy.
This bill comes at a time when Missouri is well-positioned to ramp up on renewable energy. Solar electricity production in the state has increased by 263 GWh since 2008 and wind energy production 10-fold, according to a 2018 report by Environment Missouri Research and Policy Center and Frontier Group.
“As more states like Missouri recognize the environmental and economic benefits of renewable energy, they are adopting programs to meet ambitious targets,” Bridget Sanderson said. “By requiring every state and utility to add new renewable resources each year, this bill will ensure clean energy progress in every corner of America.”
Environment Missouri is a branch of Environment America a national branch with affiliates in 29 states. Our staff and members work to protect the places we love, advance the environmental values we share, and win real results for our environment. Environment America is part of the Public Interest Network, which runs organizations committed to our vision of a better world, a set of core values, and a strategic approach to getting things done.