Governors Call for National Renewable Energy Standard
The Governorâ€™s Wind Energy Coalition, a bipartisan group of 29 governors, has called upon Congress to adopt a national renewable energy standard that would set a minimum requirement for the use of renewable electricity. The coalition, chaired by Iowa Gov. Chet Culver, presented a package of recommendations this week, including streamlined permitting for both onshore and offshore wind power projects and an upgraded interstate electric transmission system.
The coalition recommends a renewable electricity standard requiring the nation’s utilities to provide a minimum 10 percent of their electricity from renewable sources including wind, solar, geothermal and biopower, by 2012.Â Culver is backing a national renewable energy standard of 25 percent by 2025, which he predicts would create more than 300,000 green-collar jobs. In its recommendations, the coalition called for a goal of providing at least 20 percent of U.S. electricity from wind power by 2030.
The call to action by the governors comes as a comprehensive energy billâ€”the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (H.R. 2454), called the Waxman-Markey bill after its primary sponsorsâ€”passed by the House of Representatives last fall, remains stalled in the U.S. Senate. The bill, backed by President Obama, includes a controversial cap-and-trade system for reducing carbon emissions.
In addition to the renewable electricity standard and a new interstate transmission system, the coalition called for the U.S. Department of Energy to work with states to accelerate wind energy innovation, and an extension of the Treasury Departmentâ€™s Grant Program in Lieu of the Investment Tax Credit to provide a long-term renewable energy production tax credit with provisions to broaden the pool of eligible investors.