Washington Coalition Seeks to Copy Colorado’s RPS Ballot Success

On January 25, a coalition of farmers, labor, clean energy businesses, and conservationists launched a campaign to place a renewables portfolio standard (RPS) ballot initiative before Washington voters in November.

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) is reporting that the new Washington initiative would require the state’s larger utilities to gradually increase the amount of new renewable resources (such as wind and solar) in their electricity supply to 15% by 2020. Those utilities also would be required to make the most of the low-cost energy conservation opportunities in their service areas. About 20 other states and the District of Columbia already have an RPS in place. “Homegrown energy for Washington is common sense. It’s time we use the abundant, clean natural resources we have right here at home,” said Congressman Jay Inslee (D-Wash.), who has united with Earth Day founder Denis Hayes to spearhead the initiative effort. “This initiative will have a positive economic benefit for Washington, creating local jobs and stabilizing electricity rates. As long as the federal government continues its head-in-the-sand approach to solving our energy problems, it’s up to us in Washington State to take the lead on energy.” Former Bonneville Power Administrator Randy Hardy called the initiative “a reasonable and practical solution to our growing energy needs in the region. It builds on our renewable edge in the Northwest.” NW Energy Coalition executive director Sara Patton noted Washingtonians’ overwhelming support for energy efficiency and new renewable resources. “Given the volatile prices and increasingly uncertain supplies of traditional energy resources, it’s high time we took full advantage of all the efficiency and varied renewable resources we have right here in Washington state and the region,” Patton said. “This initiative will propel us down that road.” The coalition needs to gather more than 300,000 signatures by June 30 to qualify for the November ballot. Information is available at the Washingtonians for “Energy Security Now” campaign office, phone (206) 283-3335, or from the following link. This article courtesy of the American Wind Energy Association


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