Energy Chairman Introduces Critical Renewable Energy Bill with Bipartisan Support

Media Releases

Environment Rhode Island

Washington, DC – Today, Senator Bingaman, the Chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, was joined by Senators Brownback, Collins, Dorgan and Tom Udall to introduce a bill to encourage renewable energy growth. This bipartisan legislation would create a renewable electricity standard, requiring electric utilities to get a certain percentage of their energy from renewable energy, like wind and solar power. This is the latest positive development in a heavy lobby and grassroots push from the renewable energy industries, labor unions and environmental groups for a national renewable electricity standard.

The legislation is very similar to what Chairman Bingaman passed through his committee in June of last year.  While weaker than the standard that passed the House as part of the American Clean Energy and Security Act, it would require the U.S. get 15 percent of its electricity from renewable resources, with up to four percent coming from energy efficiency.

Environment Rhode Island’s Federal Clean Energy Advocate, Sean Garren, issued the following statement:

“Senator Bingaman’s renewable electricity standard commits America to beginning the move towards a clean energy economy.  While the standard is weaker than America can and should achieve, the Senate must pass the bill quickly to deliver to the entire country the benefits that states with standards already enjoy.

“Over the last two years clean energy industries, like wind and solar power, have been a bright spot in the otherwise dismal economy.  This growth is not guaranteed, as demonstrated by the recent slowdown of new wind development, but just last year the renewable energy industries created tens of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in economic development, all while cutting global warming pollution.  

“We look forward to working with Chairman Bingaman and Senators Brownback, Collins, Dorgan and Tom Udall to pass this critical legislation this fall.  In addition, we will work to improve the standard at every opportunity in order to create more clean energy jobs and cut global warming pollution.”