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

Renewables Making Gains in Congress

The Democratically controlled House of Representatives passed the Creating Long-Term Energy Alternatives for the Nation (CLEAN) Act last night, a bill that will repeal nearly $14 billion in tax breaks for oil and natural gas companies and put that money toward renewable fuels and energy efficiency programs. The CLEAN Act was passed by a vote of 264-163.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi praised the passage, saying that it was a great stride toward better energy policies for the country. “By investing in American ingenuity, Democrats will accelerate the implementation of existing clean, energy-efficient technologies. We will promote homegrown alternatives, creating good paying jobs while bolstering our national security, sending our energy dollars to the Midwest, not the Middle East,” Pelosi said in a statement issued today. Many renewable energy companies and interest groups are hoping that the bill is a sign of more powerful renewable energy legislation in the coming months and years. “Passage of the CLEAN Act is a signal of change … but this is only the first step. Our nation needs to undertake a crash program that makes America the leader in clean energy technology, creates jobs of the future for the next generation of American workers, rebalances our nation’s relationship with the global environment and prepares us to meet the challenges of climate change,” said Apollo Alliance President Jerome Ringo. Since the first session of the 110th Congress convened on January 4, Democrats and Republicans have supported many forms of legislation intending to tackle climate change and support development of more renewable energy. Such legislation includes: — 25x’25 House and Senate Concurrent Resolutions calling for a national renewable energy goal of getting 25% of the nation’s energy supply from renewable sources by 2025. — Wind Energy Production Tax Credit Extension, a House bill that will extend the PTC another five years until December of 2014. — Global Warming Pollution Reduction Act, a Senate bill that calls for greater greenhouse gas reductions and more research and development of renewable energy. — The Alternative Energy Refueling Systems Act, a Senate bill that will provide federal grants of up to $30,000 to gas station owners who want to install renewable fuel pumps. — CAFE Standard Increase, a Senate bill that will raise Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standards to 40 MPG by 2017. These are some of the many bills that have been introduced and co-sponsored by Democrats and Republicans. Many more are expected be introduced in the coming weeks and months.