Washington, DC — SenateMajority Leader Harry Reid and Senator Jeff Bingaman, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, briefed reporters today on the need for a national Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) for the production of electricity. An RPS, already law in 22 states and D.C., requires utilities to supply a specific percentage of electricity from renewable sources of energy such as wind, solar, biomass and geothermal.
Sens. Reid and Bingaman are long-time champions for renewable energy. Bingaman plans to offer an RPS amendment as part of the energy legislation that currently is being debated in the Senate. His plan would create a renewables standard of 15 percent by 2020.
“It is time we take advantage of the renewable resources we already have here at home to become more energy independent. With only three percent of the world’s oil reserves in the U.S., we will always rely on the Middle East if we do not reduce our dependence on oil,” Reid said. “A renewable portfolio standard will help reduce the carbon pollution that causes global warming and other pollutants that contaminate our air and water, protect consumers and strengthen the economy.”
Said Bingaman, “Any time Congress can do something that achieves important environmental goals, energy security goals and energy diversification goals – while also generating substantial economic benefits for our nation – it should.”