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Bingaman’s Renewable Energy Standard: Another Proposed Energy Tax

By Daren Bakst -- October 13, 2010

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.


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.…