Muckraker: Grist on Politics

Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), chair of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, is passing around a discussion draft [PDF] of a renewable electricity standard (RES) bill that will be taken up by his committee this week.

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The bill would require 4 percent of U.S. electricity to come from renewable sources by 2011, scaling up to 20 percent between 2021 and 2039. Wind, solar, ocean, geothermal, biomass, landfill gas and incremental hydropower would all qualify as renewables under the standard. The bill would not preempt RESs already in place in 27 states and the District of Columbia.

Bingaman’s draft is less aggressive than the RES legislation that Reps. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Todd Platts (R-Pa.) introduced in the House last week. Their RES calls for the U.S. to draw 25 percent of its energy from renewables by 2025.

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