Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Governors Prod Washington on Renewable Energy

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Governors Prod Washington on Renewable Energy

Article excerpt

Anxious over lack of progress on a new energy bill, a group of 29 state governors has sent the White House and Congress a list of renewable energy recommendations, seeking support for wind and solar projects.

A group of 29 state governors has for the first time submitted to the White House and Congress a list of recommendations to implement renewable energy nationwide. The move reveals growing impatience with Washington's inability to put forward a new energy-climate bill to stimulate growth of solar and wind industry jobs.

With the capitol still consumed with healthcare legislation and the likelihood of a national bill that combines climate and energy dimming rapidly, many states with renewable energy in their backyards are agitating for job creation from wind, solar, and biomass energy development.

In particular, they want a national renewable electricity standard in a new energy bill. Such a standard, the governors say, should set a minimum requirement for electric utilities to get at least 10 percent of their electricity from sources like solar, wind, and biopower by 2012 - that would put them on track to reach 20 percent by 2020, a target being weighed in Congress.

IN PICTURES: The Answer is blowing in the wind

About half of states already have similar "portfolio standards," which vary widely. More uniform standards would, for instance, increase demand for wind, whose manufacturing base in the Midwest is substantial and growing, but still immature, according to the governors' report. Even if a new energy bill doesn't materialize, they still want their proposal considered and passed on its own merits.

"Congressional action on the energy bill seems to have stalled," said Rhode Island Gov. Donald Carcieri in a statement. "It is our hope that these recommendations -- and the national bipartisan consensus they represent -- will advance the energy deliberations now under way in Congress. …

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