The two senior members of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and Lisa Murkowski (I-AK) today took the first serious step toward crafting a clean/renewable energy standard, releasing a Clean Energy Standard White Paper and asking for public comment.
While it is still very early in the legislative process, the White Paper is nevertheless encouraging–a clean and/or renewable electricity standard could provide the certainty the wind energy industry needs to invest billions of dollars in the U.S. and create thousands of new manufacturing jobs.
In our view, for such a standard to be meaningful, it would need to satisfy these basic principles:
– It must be good for renewable sources of energy, which will never run out, and not simply "clean" sources, a term which can mean many different things.
– It must ensure diversification of electricity supply rather than just stimulate the use of more fossil fuels, which is what utilities are pursuing now..
– It must not preempt states that already have their own renewable energy standards.
We commend the Senators for setting the process in motion.