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Category — Renewable Energy Standard (Bingaman)

Bingaman’s Renewable Energy Standard: Another Proposed Energy Tax

Congress seems intent on imposing energy taxes on the American public. First, there was the proposed cap-and-trade legislation; now there’s a renewable energy standard.

While cap-and-trade legislation appears to be dead for now, the same can’t be said for a renewable energy standard. On September 21, 2010, Senator Bingaman (D-NM) introduced the Renewable Electricity Promotion Act of 2010 (S. 3813). A bipartisan group of 32 cosponsors gives this bill a legitimate chance of passage this year. At a minimum, it’s a bill that warrants significant attention.

Background

The legislation would create what is referred to as a renewable energy standard (RES). The RES is a combination of two discreet policy programs. The first is a renewable energy mandate and the second is an energy efficiency mandate.

Electric utilities would be required to meet a 15 percent RES and would have to generate at least 11 percent of their electricity from renewable energy sources. The remaining 4 percent could come from energy efficiency savings—utilities could not exceed this 4 percent number.

The requirements would phase in over time, as shown in Figure 1. (Note: The energy efficiency requirement could never exceed 26.67 percent of the total RES requirement).

Figure 1

Calendar year: Minimum annual percentage

2012 through 2013: 3.0

2014 through 2016: 6.0

2017 through 2018: 9.0

2019 through 2020: 12.0

2021 through 2039: 15.0

The Biggest Subsidy of Them All

Renewable energy sources have been receiving massive subsidies for decades. Even with these subsidies, electric utilities have not purchased renewable energy, such as wind and solar power, because of their high costs and unreliable nature. [Read more →]

October 13, 2010   10 Comments