Udalls introduce 25×25 RES bill

Source: Nick Juliano, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Two Democrats today introduced a Senate bill that would require utilities to generate 25 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2025.

The bill from Sens. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Mark Udall (D-Colo.) is the latest in a long-running campaign to implement a nationwide renewable energy standard; when they were in the House, the Udall cousins introduced their first RES bill in 2002.

The cousins’ bill is unlikely to gain much traction anytime soon, as any attempt to mandate more wind and solar purchasing meets fierce resistance from conservative House Republicans, who say such sources are too expensive to thrive without government support. But the Udalls say the proposal deserves more attention because of its potential to provide an economic boost in clean energy industries while making progress in reducing heat-trapping emissions.

“The global clean energy race is increasingly competitive, and our bill is the best way to help America take the lead and build a thriving clean energy economy,” Tom Udall said in a statement. “A national RES will get America running on homegrown clean energy, create almost 300,000 new jobs and help revitalize our rural communities — all while fighting global warming.”

The last time lawmakers attempted major energy policy was the 111th Congress of 2009-10, and RES proposals were embraced in both chambers before the trickier politics of climate change and the GOP takeover of the House sapped attention from comprehensive bills.

The House-passed cap-and-trade bill included a 20-percent-by-2020 RES; a weaker version, requiring 15 percent renewable electricity by 2020, was included in the broad 2009 Senate energy bill, which emerged from committee with bipartisan support but never made it to the floor.