New Markey-Platts Bill Would Dramatically Boost Clean Energy Development

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Emily Robinson, 202-331-5427

New Markey-Platts Bill Would Dramatically Boost Clean Energy Development

Legislation Would Put Nation on Path to Affordable, Cleaner, More Reliable Energy System

WASHINGTON - The 25-percent-by-2025 renewable electricity standard bill
introduced today by Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and Rep. Todd Platts
(R-Penn.) would boost renewable energy generation by 135 percent above
and beyond current policies between now and 2025, according to the
Union of Concerned Scientists' preliminary analysis of the legislation.

"This electrifying standard would provide a smart, proven,
cost-effective strategy to ramp up our clean energy use, create tens of
thousands of jobs, and lower consumer utility bills," said Alan Nogee,
UCS Clean Energy Program director. "The clean energy tax incentives
that Congress is finalizing will get us moving in the right direction
in the near term, and the renewable energy standard makes sure we stay
on that path for the foreseeable future."

Beginning in 2012, the legislation would require large electric
utilities to gradually increase their reliance on renewable energy
sources for the following 13 years until they amounted to 25 percent.
UCS found that the 25-percent-by-2025 standard would add 135 percent
more clean, renewable power in the United States above and beyond
current state and federal policies. Twenty-eight states and the
District of Columbia currently have state standards. UCS calculates
that the federal standard would create enough clean electricity to
power roughly 150 million typical homes by 2025.

In the coming weeks, UCS will release a more comprehensive analysis
of a 25-by-2025 requirement that will include additional data on the
effects of the national standard on consumer energy bills, job
creation, economic development, and global warming emissions. Since the
1990s, the organization has been a leader in designing state and
federal renewable energy standards and analyzing their benefits. UCS'
RES Toolkit provides comprehensive information on each existing state
renewable electricity standard for experts and concerned citizens
alike. To access the RES Toolkit, go to: http://go.ucsusa.org/cgi-bin/RES/state_standards_search.pl?template=main.

Numerous studies by UCS, the federal government and others that have
examined national renewable electricity standards have concluded they
would save consumers money, reduce global warming emissions, and create
thousands of new jobs. For instance, a 2007 study by the U.S. Energy
Information Administration found that consumers would save $2 billion
on cumulative electricity and natural gas bills from 2009 to 2030 under
a 25-percent-by-2025 standard, while reducing power plant global
warming pollution by 22 percent or 724 million metric tons by 2030. A
UCS analysis of slightly different 20-percent-by-2020
standard-introduced in the House in 2007-found that it would create
185,000 new jobs from renewable energy development, generate $66.7
billion in new capital investment, and cut global warming pollution
equal to removing 36.4 million cars from the road.

Excluding existing hydroelectric power, renewable energy currently
accounts for only 2.5 percent of the nation's electricity output. But a
number of studies conclude that its potential to provide a significant
share of the U.S. energy mix is great. The Department of Energy, for
example, projects that wind power alone could generate 20 percent of
the nation's electricity by 2030.

"The 25 percent target is entirely achievable and will lower
consumers' energy bills along the way," said Nogee. "President Obama
campaigned for this standard, and now Congress should pass it. Everyone
will benefit."

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The Union of Concerned Scientists is the leading science-based nonprofit working for a healthy environment and a safer world. UCS combines independent scientific research and citizen action to develop innovative, practical solutions and to secure responsible changes in government policy, corporate practices, and consumer choices.

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