WASHINGTON - JUNE 27 - As the House Energy and
Commerce Committee begins its markup of energy legislation, U.S. PIRG urged the
committee to pass a renewable electricity standard, increase fuel economy and
support the conservation provisions already in the bill.
“A sensible energy plan
must include a strong renewable electricity standard, significantly improve
vehicle fuel economy, and promote efficiency,” said U.S. PIRG Washington DC
office director Anna Aurilio. “Congress should promote proven solutions like
making cars go farther on a gallon of gas, making buildings more efficient, and
increasing the use of clean, renewable energy. Congress should invest in
win-win solutions like making cars go farther on a gallon of gas, making
buildings more efficient, and increasing the use of clean, renewable
energy. Congress should not gamble taxpayer dollars on a risky scheme like
liquid coal,” continued Aurilio.
The environmental community
sent a letter to the committee urging that they include the following
priorities in their energy bill:
- * Establish a strong national renewable electricity
standard by adopting the Udall-Platts Renewable Electricity Standard (H.R.
969) that requires utilities to produce 20 percent of their electricity from
renewable energy sources by 2020.
* Strengthen Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE)
standards by adopting the Markey-Platts Fuel Economy Reform Act (H.R.
1506) to ensure that we get at least 35 mpg fleetwide within ten years.
- * Maintain EPA and state Clean Air Act Authority to
set global warming pollution standards for vehicles or fuels.
* Reject mandates or incentives for liquid coal
* Promote energy efficiency in buildings and
* Include environmental and public health
safeguards for biofuels production.
Twenty three states and the District of Columbia
have already enacted renewable electricity standards of their own because of
the policy’s benefits. Ten states have increased or accelerated their
While many utilities support
the federal Renewable Electricity Standard, several coal and nuclear utilities
and their allies worked to derail a Bingaman Renewable Electricity Standard
amendment in the Senate and to push for billions of dollars in tax breaks to
develop liquid coal technology.
“The coal industry and their
allies in Congress are working overtime to derail the renewable energy
standard. We call on the House to support a strong Renewable Electricity
Standard and meaningful improvements to gas mileage standards,” concluded
U.S. PIRG is the
federation of state Public Interest Research Groups. State PIRGs are
non-profit, non-partisan public interest advocacy organizations.