Conference Delegates Endorse RE Standard

Delegates at the third annual Harvesting Clean Energy conference endorsed by acclimation a resolution supporting a new federal policy to use renewable electricity generation to provide 20 percent of the nation’s power by 2020.

Boise, Idaho – February 17, 2003 [] About 400 people attended the two-day conference, held this week in Boise. The resolution also included statements of support for other proposed federal policies promoting Renewable Energy, including full funding for energy programs created by the 2002 Farm Bill, a 10 year extension of the renewable production tax credit, a new investment tax incentive for small-scale, and a renewable fuel standard for ethanol and biodiesel fuels. “These policies will foster both sustainable farm economy and energy security, with support from our emerging clean energy partnership that spans rural and urban, eastside and westside, Republican, Democrat and Independent,” said Gretchen Borck of the Washington Association of Wheat Growers. “Renewable Energy will provide a new value added industry to the Pacific Northwest.” In the resolution, delegates cited the plentiful Renewable Energy resources available in the Western states, the Energy Crisis of 2000-2001, and utility rate increases caused by volatile fossil fuel costs. Also important to supporters are the potential economic benefits of the expanded use of Renewable Energy–an industry predicted to grow into a US$180 billion worldwide industry over the next two decades. Heather Rhoads-Weaver, executive director of NW Sustainable Energy for Economic Development (NW SEED), said she was pleased with the participation of many farmers and other agricultural stakeholders in backing Renewable Energy. This year’s Harvesting Clean Energy conference, organized by Climate Solutions, was held in partnership with the Idaho Ag Summit. “The fact that the delegates included such a strong agricultural presence shows widespread support for this policy approach,” she noted. Renewable Energy policies “can be really important ways to jump-start the rural economy.”
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