Nathanael Greene, Director of Renewable Energy Policy, New York City
Yesterday, Senator Bingaman led a committee hearing on the Clean Energy Standard (S.1426), legislation that would increase production of renewable energy like wind and solar power, and energy efficiency along with other energy sources like nuclear and natural gas. It would work by requiring utilities to get an growing percentage of their electricity over time from “clean” energy sources.
NRDC has strongly supported the concept of a Federal standard that would responsibly expand renewable energy and energy efficiency and have found a lot to like in Sen. Bingaman’s promising CES. Among its benefits – it would significantly reduce carbon pollution from the electricity sector, incorporate a carbon metric to incentivize cleaner electricity sources, increase renewable energy above existing expectations, and have a small impact on electricity costs.
Unfortunately, during the hearing, several senators called for using passage of the CES as an excuse to preempt critical air pollution standards found in the Clean Air Act. Sen. Bingaman further indicated an openness (subscription required) to the concept following the hearing.
This should be a non-starter for a number of reasons.
First, it would poison the politics of the CES, ...
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