Does Bingaman’s Energy Proposal Go Far Enough?

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Monday, September 20, 2010 at 5:08 pm

A Senate aide says the renewable energy standard a bipartisan group of senators will unveil tomorrow will use the target in Sen. Jeff Bingaman’s (D-N.M.) energy bill as a baseline. Bingaman’s bill called for 15 percent of the country’s electricity to come from renewable sources by 2021.

As I wrote back in July, for many environmentalists, Bingaman’s RES falls short of the targets necessary to spur significant clean energy development:

What kind of impact would Bingaman’s RES have on renewable energy?

This 2009 analysis from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, a research arm of the Department of Energy, gives us some idea. The analysis is based on Bingaman’s original 20 percent by 2021 RES proposal, which was cut down to 15 percent to win support from Republicans on the committee. And the results aren’t good. The analysis finds that the Bingaman bill likely won’t increase renewable energy development beyond a business-as-usual scenario.

Of course, proponents of Bingaman’s RES will argue that it is just a starting point. And, given the tight calendar in the Senate, it looks like it’s the only thing that can pass right now.

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23 Comments

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Susan Kraemer
Comment posted September 20, 2010 @ 11:28 pm

Sure it does. It' is a MINimum, not a maximum More than 30 states have an RES, many higher, some already make 15% from RE (Iowa, CA etc), some of the remaining 20 laggard states get 90% coal power. This will only affect these laggard states, and will get them started down the same path.


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JohnInMA
Comment posted September 21, 2010 @ 8:53 pm

Agreed – a minimum keeps the control at the state level, allowing more aggressive standards while still sharing in any federal level incentives. I would guess leaving nuclear out, which to me is foolish, could explain why the proposed national standard is lower. If nuclear were included a 25 – 30% target would be equally easy to achieve in the same time frame. For those who feel the federal government must dictate all, fear not. Some of the most energy consuming states may approach double the proposed value in that same amount of time.


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guestspeaker
Comment posted September 22, 2010 @ 4:23 am

it should get more than 15% renewable, like at least 20-30%, since we are talking about another 10 years. but it's at least something better than nothing.

we should also pass green building standard and mandates on all new constructions, residential or commercial. it would push for the growth of green or renewable energy sector and therefore the new jobs, and dramatically reduced energy and oil consumption in the future.


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