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Renewable energy

House bill would require electric companies to gradually shift toward clean, renewable energy sources

Tuesday, September 11, 2007 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
Tags: renewable energy, health news, Natural News


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A bill introduced into the House of Representatives this year would require utility companies to generate 20 percent of their electricity from renewable sources -- such as biofuel, geothermal, solar and wind -- by the year 2020, according to a press release by the Union of Concerned Scientists.

What you need to know

• The bill is a type of law known as a renewable portfolio standard, because it sets a minimum standard for renewable energy output with which all power companies must comply.

• Twenty-one states and the District of Columbia have adopted their own renewable portfolio standards, but there is no national standard to date. A renewable portfolio standard of 10 percent has passed the Senate on three separate occasions, but it has failed to become law.

• The Union of Concerned Scientists says that the 20 percent renewable portfolio standard would create 355,000 jobs, almost twice as many as continued production of the same energy from fossil fuels. The union also predicts that competition from renewable energy generators would lower the prices of electricity and natural gas enough to create a national savings to consumers of $49 billion.

• Generating 20 percent of the nation's power from renewable sources would also reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 15 percent, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists.

• Quote: "The states have already shown us that renewable standards can be successful. The federal government should step in with its own standard so the entire country can enjoy the benefits of renewable energy. The nation's security and the health of our planet are too important to leave to the states." -- Alan Nogee, clean energy program director for the Union of Concerned Scientists

Bottom line

• The House of Representatives is considering a law that would require that 20 percent of the nation's energy be generated from renewable sources.

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