Sens. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and Sam Brownback (R-KS), with Sens. Byron Dorgan (D-ND), Susan Collins (R-ME), Tom Udall (D-NM), Mark Udall (D-CO) and others joining, announced today that they will introduce a stand-alone Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) bill.  The bill will require sellers of electricity to obtain the following milestones in adding renewable energy resources or energy efficiency:

2012-2013 – 3%

2014-2015 – 6%

2017-2018 – 9%

2019-2020 – 12%

2021 – 2039 -15%

Renewable resources that can be used toward compliance will include wind, solar, ocean, geothermal, biomass, landfill gas, incremental hydropower, hydrokinetic, new hydropower at existing dams, and waste-to-energy.  For utilities that are unable to meet their RES targets, the bill proposes to charge a compliance payment at a rate of 2.1 cents per kilowatt hour, with such amounts then being used for renewable energy development or to offset consumers’ bills.

A first step, yes.  But a small one.

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