Bioenergy, Geothermal, Hydropower, Project Development, Solar, Wind Power

Bipartisan Group of U.S. Senators Endorses 25x’25 Initiative

Late last week, a bipartisan group of Senators and Representatives introduced a Congressional resolution calling for a new national renewable energy goal: 25% of the nation’s energy supply from renewable sources by 2025. The resolution builds on a broad and politically influential coalition including agriculture, industry, and environmental leaders, as well as several governors and state legislatures.

“Today we have Republicans and Democrats, rural and urban interests, and representatives from over 140 different farm, forestry and environmental organizations coming together behind a common energy goal for the nation,” said 25x’25 Steering Committee Co-Chair Bill Richards. “This introduction is truly unprecedented.” Lead sponsors include Senators Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ken Salazar (D-Colo.), Dick Lugar (R-Ind.), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Reps. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), Marilyn Musgrave (R-Colo.) and Mark Udall (D-Colo.) “Setting the goal of 25x’25 is the critical first step in moving toward an America that is more secure, more environmentally stable, and more energy self-sufficient,” said co-chair Read Smith. “Goals are important. Goals were important when we electrified rural America, when we built the interstate highway system, and when we sent a man to the moon. We urge all Americans to join with us in this historic opportunity.” Among the many members of Congress who expressed their support for 25x’25 is Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), Ranking Minority member, House Agriculture Committee, who said, “As fossil fuel prices continue to rise, American agriculture has answered the call to reduce our nation’s dependence on foreign energy. Using renewable sources, including wind turbines for electricity generation, animal waste for natural gas production, and crops and forest products for biofuels production, rural America will lead the way to meet and even exceed the 25 by ’25 goal.” Rep. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) House Agriculture Committee pointed out, “Agriculture can play a key role in helping to solve the nation’s energy crisis. At a time when domestic and global energy demands are growing, the 25x’25 vision is a win for rural America. Growing our agriculture-energy economy translates into benefits to farmers, energy security, rural economic development, and the environment.” Over the last two years, support has been building for the 25x’25 initiative, which would tap renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, biogas and biofuels. Governors Jeb Bush (R-Fla.), Mitch Daniels (R-Ind.), Dave Heineman (R-Neb.), Tim Pawlenty (R-Minn.), Ed Rendell (D-Penn.), Brian Schweitzer (D-Mont.), and Kathleen Sebelius (D-Kan.) have contributed their endorsements.