Senator Jeff Bingaman, New Mexico Democrat, is pushing a national clean energy standard for utilities. He spoke at a hearing this week of the Senate Energy and Natural Resouces Committee, which he chairs.
From The Albuquerque Journal:
Bingaman said his bill would help drive new technology to produce cleaner, more efficient energy sources that don’t emit greenhouse gases, which many scientists contend are fueling climate change. A new study by the U.S. Energy Information Administration found that Bingaman’s bill would have little effect on energy prices for the first five years, but that costs would begin to rise after 2020.
“The purpose of the clean energy standard is to establish a national standard for electricity to make sure that we leverage the clean resources we have today and provide a continuing incentive to develop the cheaper, cleaner energy technologies of the future,” Bingaman said at the hearing.
President Barack Obama has called for a clean energy standard in his past two State of the Union speeches, urging Congress to adopt rules that would push utilities to generate 80 percent of their power from clean sources by 2035. Bingaman’s bill aims to gradually accomplish that goal.
Beginning in 2015, the Bingaman proposal would require the nation’s largest utilities to ensure that a percentage of the electricity they sell comes from clean energy sources, and each year they would need to sell slightly more clean power.
Senate Republicans say now is not the time to allow energy prices to increase.