WASHINGTON - July 12 - In a letter sent today, 25 member groups of the Sustainable Energy Coalition submitted a series of detailed recommendations to the Members of the U.S. Senate selected to serve on the House-Senate Conference on the Energy Policy Act of 2005. (The letter will be forwarded to the House conferees as soon as their names are officially announced.)
The signers to the letter urged the conferees to "set the country on a path to substantially reduce the level of energy imports, reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, and begin the transition towards a sustainable energy economy by dramatically increasing the use of domestically available renewable energy resources and, energy efficient technologies."
The groups specifically expressed support for ten key sustainable energy provisions found in the Senate version of the energy bill. These include a long-term, broadly-based production tax credit, a Renewable Portfolio Standard, an environmentally-sound Renewable Fuels Standard, energy efficiency standards for appliances, a national oil savings goal, long-term energy efficiency and renewable energy tax credits, and robust authorization levels for federal sustainable energy R&D programs.
In addition, the groups proposed five additional measures, not found in either the House or the Senate bills, that should be incorporated into the final energy bill. These include improved fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks, provisions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and national standards for interconnection and net metering for distributed renewable energy technologies.
Noting that "Congress now has an opportunity to put this country on the path to a clean energy future that can create jobs, save consumers money and reduce the threat of climate change," the groups urged that "the final bill provide sufficient incentives, authorizations and policies to move our country towards a sustainable energy future."
The full text of the letter and list of signers are provided in full below.
The Sustainable Energy Coalition is a coalition of nearly 100 national and state business, consumer, environmental, and energy policy organizations which collectively represent several thousand companies and community-based organizations. Founded in 1992, the Sustainable Energy Coalition works to promote increased use of renewable energy and energy efficient technologies.
SUSTAINABLE ENERGY COALITION
1612 "K" Street, N.W.; #202-A
Washington, D.C. 20006
Recommendations for the House-Senate Conference on the Energy Policy Act of 2005
July 12, 2005
Senate Conferees Energy Policy Act of 2005
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
Attn: Energy Policy Staff
As you prepare for the House-Senate Conference on the Energy Policy Act of 2005, we urge you to ensure that the final bill provides sufficient incentives, authorizations and policies to move our country towards a sustainable energy future. To achieve this goal, we believe that the conference report should set the country on a path to substantially reduce the level of energy imports, reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, and begin the transition towards a sustainable energy economy by dramatically increasing the use of domestically available renewable energy resources and, energy efficient technologies.
To realize these goals, the conference report should incorporate the following, which were included in the Senate legislation:
1.) A long-term production tax credit, that benefits the cross-section of commercially available and emerging renewable energy technologies;
2.) A national Renewable Portfolio Standard, at least as robust as that included in the Senate legislation;
3.) Long-term tax credits for energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies that reduce emissions and encourage the use of new energy sources;
4.) Permanent or long term, unrestricted reauthorization of Energy Savings Performance Contracting (ESPCs), which allow private financing of energy-efficiency improvements to federal buildings;
5.) A Renewable Fuels Standard at least at the level provided by the Senate, if it is accompanied by language to prevent any environmental backsliding;
6.) The provisions in the Senate's Renewable Fuels Standard that support the production of ethanol from cellulosic materials;"
7.) Additional new energy efficiency standards for appliances and equipment,
8.) A requirement for states to consider Energy Efficiency Resource Standards and a pilot program to begin implementation of those standards;
9.) A significant oil savings goal, buttressed by adding enforcement language to the current Senate provision;
10.) Robust authorizations for research, development, demonstrations and purchase requirements for hydrogen and fuel cell technologies.
Additionally, the conference report should include provisions, missing in both the House and Senate versions of the bill, which are vital towards moving us towards a sustainable energy future:
1.) Modest improvements in standards for corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) that would require fuel efficiency standards for automobiles and light duty trucks to meet a 40 mile per gallon (mpg) level by 2020 and other accommodations for national oil savings
2.) National standards for net metering and interconnection to facilitate the development of distributed renewable energy technologies and enhanced transmission and distribution grid reliability. These standards must include fee schedules that accommodate very small distributed generation equipment
3.) Authorization levels for federal renewable energy and energy efficiency program budgets that are at least twice as high as current levels;
4.) Provisions to reduce the levels of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, including, but not limited to, a cap-and-trade system.
5.) Additional investment tax credits for renewable and efficiency technologies such as small distributed wind turbines.
Congress now has an opportunity to put this country on the path to a clean energy future that can create jobs, save consumers money and reduce the threat of climate change. We look forward to working with you to create an energy policy for the 21st century that provides for energy security and sustainability while reducing our dependence on finite energy resources.
Thank you for your thoughtful consideration.
Alliance for Affordable Energy
American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy
American Solar Energy Society
American Wind Energy Association
Bob Lawrence & Associates
Breakthrough Technologies Institute
Business Council for Sustainable Energy
Clean Fuels Development Coalition
Colorado Energy Group
Environmental and Energy Study Institute
Geothermal Resources Council
National Environmental Trust
Natural Resources Defense Council
NewBio E Systems Inc.
New Community Project
New Uses Council
Solar Energy Industries Association
The Stella Group, Ltd.
Sterling Planet, Inc.
Union of Concerned Scientists
U.S. Public Interest Research Group