Representatives of the renewable energy industry recently called on Congress to strengthen proposals for the national renewable electricity standard (RES) in legislation before the House and Senate in hopes of seizing an historic opportunity to put the U.S. on a path to increased renewable energy and clean jobs. Executives from the renewable energy industry met with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and told the leaders that current RES provisions will not result in renewable energy deployment or new clean energy jobs in the near term. The U.S. will fall behind other countries, and jobs that would otherwise be created in the United States will move elsewhere.
“I believe a strong Renewable Electricity Standard is key to continued economic growth and job creation,” said Iowa Governor Chet Culver, Co-Chair of the Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition, who also attended the Reid and Pelosi meetings. “Wind energy is essential to helping Iowa – and the country – recover from this national economic challenge, by creating green-collar jobs, and producing clean energy, which will power homes and businesses nationwide. I am proud to stand with Congressman Braley, and all of our federal partners, in helping build an energy independent future for Iowa, and for the country.”
“The U.S. was the number one country in new wind installations in 2008,” said Denise Bode, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association. “Without a strong RES the U.S. will fall behind China and Europe, both of which have aggressive and binding renewable energy targets in place.” Under current RES bills, Bode said, some 75% of new green jobs will be created in China and Europe.
“A strong renewable electricity standard will create more American jobs, grow the US economy, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil,” said Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa), who joined wind industry leaders at a press conference. “We can and must do more to promote the development of renewable energy.”
Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., also at the press conference, said, “Not only is a strong federal RES necessary if we want to build up renewable energy sources in this country. It’s critical if we want to build a strong renewable energy economy and create new jobs. Wind and solar energy companies have brought over 3,000 new jobs to Colorado thanks in part to our renewable electricity standard. With a strong national RES we could create hundreds of thousands of clean energy jobs across the country.”
Filed Under: Policy