Letter to Welch
by John Harbison, Paul Burns, Jim Northup |
A letter to Congressman Welch asking for his support of clean energy and H.R. 969.
March 15, 2007
The Honorable Peter Welch
House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
Re: Udall-Platts Renewable Energy StandardH.R. 969
Dear Representative Welch:
We are writing to urge you to co-sponsor the Udall (D-NM) and Platts (R-PA) National Renewable Energy Standards Bill--H.R. 969. This essential legislation would require utilities across the country to boost production from clean, renewable energy sources. As you know, the technology exists today to power our homes and businesses with clean, renewable energy sources like wind and solar power. But instead of putting this homegrown energy to work, the United States produces just 2 percent of its electricity from renewable energy while the rest comes from polluting energy sources such as coal. As a result, electricity production is a leading cause of global warming, smog, soot, and mercury pollution. Investing in renewable energy sources would not only curb global warming and protect the environment; it would lower consumer energy bills, spur economic development and create thousands of new jobs.
A National Renewable Energy Standard
The RES is a market-based policy that gradually requires utilities to increase the percentage of electricity produced from renewable energy sources, such as wind, biomass, geothermal, and solar energy. This is a proven policy to increase renewable energy production. According to the Department of Energy, a 20 percent Renewable Energy Standard by 2020 is not only technically feasible, but it is also cost-effective.
Already, over twenty-one states and the District of Columbia have enacted a RES. These successful state programs demonstrate the effectiveness of the RES. However, since energy production creates national economic and environmental problems, we need a national standard.
The Udall-Platts Renewable Energy Standard (H.R. 969) would require most utilities nationwide to produce 20 percent of their electricity from renewable energy sources by 2020. The legislation creates nationwide tradable renewable energy credits, allowing utilities around the country to buy and sell renewable energy credits. This creates competition among renewable energy generators, providing the greatest amount of clean power for the lowest price. It also allows regions with the least expensive renewable energy production to exceed the requirements and then sell those credits to regions where renewable energy production is not as cost-effective keeping overall rates low.
A Clean Air Solution to Global Warming
Investing in renewable energy would not only diversify our nations energy sources, it would also protect the environment. Electricity production accounts for nearly 40 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Under the Udall-Platts RES, we would reduce 511 million tons of global warming pollution a reduction equivalent to taking 89 million cars off the road. The RES would also help reduce smog, soot, and mercury pollution from power plants.
Creating Jobs and Lowering Energy Bills
The RES is also a tremendous economic boon. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, a standard requiring 20 percent renewable energy production by 2020 would create over 355,000 new jobs, save over $12.6 billion on our nations energy bill, and provide over $70 billion in new capital investments across the country.
We appreciate your demonstrated interest in creating smart, sustainable energy policies and hope you will co-sponsor H.R. 969.
Vermont Sierra Club
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