Democratic News

Chairman Bingaman today welcomed a letter from a large, diverse group of supporters who are urging Congress to pass a national renewable portfolio standard (RPS) this year.  It 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.
 
An RPS, already law in 22 states and D.C., 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.
 
Bingaman plans to offer an RPS amendment when the Senate takes up energy legislation in June.  His plan would create a renewables standard of 15 percent by 2020.  Sen. Bingaman believes that whenever Congress can do something that achieves important environmental goals, energy security goals and energy diversification goals, while also generating substantial economic benefits for our nation, it should.  Here’s the letter:
 
 
The Honorable Harry Reid                              The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Majority Leader                                               Minority Leader
United States Senate                                        United States Senate
 
The Honorable Jeff Bingaman                         The Honorable Pete V. Domenici
Chairman                                                          Ranking Member
Energy & Natural Resources Committee         Energy & Natural Resources Committee
               
           
Dear Senators Reid, McConnell, Bingaman and Domenici:
 
As a diverse group of corporations, manufacturers, electric utilities, renewable energy developers, labor organizations, farm groups, faith-based organizations and environmental advocates, 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 is an essential component of a broader national energy strategy, because it will help the nation to take full advantage of the abundant domestic renewable resources available for the generation of electricity.
 
An RPS is a market-based mechanism that requires electric utilities to include a specific percentage of clean, renewable energy in their generation portfolios, or to purchase renewable energy credits from others.  By substantially increasing renewable electricity generation, the RPS would enhance national energy security by diversifying our sources of electric generation.  At a time when the United States is increasing energy imports, an RPS would make America more energy self-reliant.  The reduction in the use of fossil fuels to generate electricity would also limit fuel price volatility, which is important to both industry and consumers.  In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy’s own Energy Information Administration has found in several studies that an RPS would actually cause natural gas prices to decline.
 
Increasing the market share for renewable energy resources would also have substantial environmental benefits.  An RPS is one of the most important and readily available approaches to reducing greenhouse gases from the electricity generation sector.  In addition, an RPS also would help reduce conventional pollutants including nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide and mercury emissions.
 
Moreover, a national RPS will produce substantial economic benefits.  The additional investment in renewable electric generation would create hundreds of thousands of well-paying jobs.  In addition, because many renewable resources are located in remote areas, rural America will experience a substantial economic boost.    
 
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.
 
Thank you for your consideration of this important matter.
 
Sincerely,
 
GE                                                                             Google
BP America, Inc.                                                       United Steelworkers
National Venture Capital Association                         Edison International
Miasole                                                                     Pacific Gas & Electric
Wisconsin Power and Light                                       Union for Reform Judaism
National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA    GT Solar
Technet                                                                      PPM Energy, Inc.
APX, Inc.                                                                   Avista Utilities
Alliant Energy                                                            Horizon Wind Energy
Sempra Energy                                                           Enel NA
Shell Wind Energy, Inc.                                               D.H. Blattner and Sons
Solar Turbines, Inc.                                                    Applied Materials, Inc.
Business Council for Sustainable Energy                     Greene Engineers
Alliant Energy                                                             Oregon Steel Mills
Invenergy LLC                                                            LM Glasfiber ND, Inc.
Owens Corning Composites System Business              Noble Environmental Power
Leeco Steel                                                                  enXco
Clipper Wind Power, Inc.                                            Interstate Power and Light
National Audobon Society                                           Physicians for Social Responsibility
American Wind Energy Association                             McNiff Light Industry
Blue Green Alliance                                                     Citizen’s Utility Board
Big Crane & Rigging Company                                    Great Southwestern Construction
Iberdrola U.S.A.                                                          RES America
Natural Resources Defense Council                              JPW Riggers
DMI Industries                                                             AES Wind Generation
Union of Concerned Scientists                                      Suzlon Wind Energy
Lake Superior Warehousing                                          U.S. PIRG
Rocky Mountain Farmers Union                                   University of Alaska, Fairbanks
Pennsylvania Interfaith Climate Campaign                      Atlantic Testing Laboratories    
Interfaith Power & Light                                               National Environmental Trust
Environmental Law and Policy Center                           AWS Truewind
Western Organization of Resource Council                    Big Stone Wind
ATS Wind Energy Services                                          CAB, Inc.
BioResource Consultants                                              Bluewater Wind
Bosch Rexroth Corporation                                          BQ Energy
Castle & Cooke Resorts                                               Competitive Power Ventures
Chermac Energy Corporation                                       Chinook Wind
Dominion Energy                                                          EcoEnergy LLC          
EFormative Options                                                      Electric Power Engineers         
Energy Unlimited                                                          Enerpro                       
Enertech                                                                       FAW Foundry                                     
Environmental Stewardship & Planning                          Foresight Wind Energy
Eurus Energy America                                                  Excellent Energy Solutions
FPC Services                                                               General Compression
Generation Energy                                                        Hopwood
Green Energy Technologies                                           Greenwing Energy
GroWind I                                                                    Hailo
Highland New Wind Development                                HMH Energy Resources
Knight & Carver                                                           Pandion Systems
LAPP Resources                                                          ReEnergy
Louis J. Manfredi Consulting                                         Tamarack Energy
Mackinaw Power                                                         Mariah Power
Mizuho Corporate Bank                                               Molded Fiber Glass Companies
Nordex USA                                                                Oak Creek Energy Systems
Old Mill Power Company                                             Sierra Club
Otech Engineering                                                         Padoma Wind Power
Phoenix Contact                                                           Project Resources
Renewable Energy Consulting Services                         RSMR Global Resources
San Gorgonio Farms                                                     Signal Wind Energy
SIPCO (MLS Electrosystem)                                       Sustainable Energy Strategies
TCI Renewables Limited                                              The Conti Group
Tideland Signal                                                             TMA, Inc.
Trinity Structural Towers                                               Oregon Rural Action
Varelube Systems                                                         Venti Energy
Wind Capital Group                                                     Wind Turbine Tools
Wind Utility Consulting                                                 Windland
WindLogics                                                                  WindRose Power
Windsmith                                                                    Winergy Drive Systems
PowerWorks                                                                Winergy Power
Appropriate Energy                                                      Cabazon Wind Energy
Castaic Clay Products                                                  Zephyr Lake Energies
Cannon Power                                                             Hodge Foundry
TOWER Logistics                                                        Commonwealth Capital Group
Energy Development and Construction Corp.                Mankato Area Environmentalists
Institute for Environmental Research and Education       Clean Wisconsin
RENEW Wisconsin                                                      Missourians for Safe Energy                 
Fallon County Disaster & Emergency Services              Oklahoma Wind Power Initiative
Stevens County (KS) Economic Development               OverSight Resources
Dakota Resource Council                                             Kansas Rural Center                            
Montana Department of Environmental Quality              Chesapeake Climate Action Network
West Wind Wires                                                         Greenpeace
Interwest Energy Alliance                                              Southern Alliance for Clean Energy
Concord Energy Policy Group                                      Clean Power Now
Renewable Northwest Project                                      RMT/WindConnect
Friends Committee on National Legislation                    The Land Institute
American Lung Association of the Central States           Western Colorado Congress
Tompkins Renewable Energy Education Alliance           Idaho Rural Council
Alaska Wilderness League                                            Clean Water Action
1000 Friends of Wisconsin                                           Coulee Progressives                
Citizens Campaign for the Environment                          League of Conservation Voters
Grassroots Citizens of Wisconsin                                  Penn Future
NH Sustainable Energy Association                              REACH for Tomorrow
Southwest Wisconsin Progressives                                The Minster Machine Company
 
 
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