New Senate Bill Contains 25 Percent Renewable Energy Standard

Fri Mar 18, 2011 3:15pm EDT

U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tim Johnson (D-SD) introduced legislation this week that includes a 25 percent renewable energy standard among other strong provisions for domestic alternative energy.

The Securing America's Future with Energy and Sustainable Technologies (SAFEST) Act would establish renewable energy and energy-efficiency standards, incentives for developing biofuels and biofuel infrastructure, and targets for the availability of advanced vehicle technologies. Specifically, the legislation would establish:

- New incentives for biofuels infrastructure and deployment

- An extension of tax credits for ethanol and biodiesel that the Senators say would reward efficient producers and be more cost-effective

- A renewable electricity standard of 25 percent renewable energy by 2025

- An energy-efficiency resource standard (1 percent per year)

- Targets for the availability of advanced vehicle technologies including hybrid, electric, and flex-fuel vehicles

"This legislation invests in jobs on the farm and in manufacturing in America. It is the path to our energy future by investing in a range of renewable energy from biofuels to wind and importantly will provide incentives for infrastructure for renewables," said Johnson. "This will prevent us going from importing oil to importing wind turbines and electric cars."

The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy estimates that the national energy-efficiency resource standard in the bill would create energy bill savings of more than $150 billion by 2020 and save enough energy to power approximately one-third of all households in the United States. Recent studies indicate that the renewable electricity standard in the bill could create more than 250,000 new cleantech jobs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 10 percent.

The SAFEST bill has been endorsed by the National Farmers Union, Growth Energy, National Association of Energy Service Companies, American Soybean Association, Minnesota Farmers Union, Minnesota Corn Growers Association, and the National Biodiesel Board.

Reprinted with permission from Sustainable Business