Bioenergy, Geothermal, Hydropower, Solar, Wind Power

ENRC Receives Show of Support for National RPS

On May 25, Honorable Jeff Bingaman, Chairman of the Energy & Natural Resources Committee (ENRC), welcomed a letter from a diverse group of more than 175 supporters who are urging Congress to pass a national renewable portfolio standard (RPS) this year. Bingaman plans to offer an RPS amendment when the Senate takes up energy legislation in June.

The letter was signed by nearly 200 corporations, trade associations, unions, faith-based organizations and environmental groups, including big names such as GE, Google, the United Steelworkers, Union of Concerned Scientists, BP America, Sierra Club, and many others.

“As a diverse group of corporations, manufacturers, electric utilities, renewable energy developers, labor organizations, farm groups, faith-based organizations and environmental advocates,” the letter addressed to Senators Reid, McConnell, Bingaman and Domenici, explains, “we are writing to urge the Senate to include a national renewable portfolio standard (RPS) in energy security legislation that may soon be considered by Congress.”

An RPS, already law in 22 states and DC, requires utilities to supply a specific percentage of electricity from renewable sources of energy such as wind, solar, biomass and geothermal. Sen. Bingaman is a long-time champion for renewable energy and RPS is a signature issue for him.

“We believe the time has come for Congress to move quickly to enact national RPS legislation. The costs of inaction for our environment, national security and economy are too high. Although more than 20 states have adopted individual RPS programs, the country will not realize the full potential for renewable electricity without the adoption of a Federal program to enhance the states’ efforts.