Published on March 15th, 2010 | by Susan Kraemer4
29 Governors Bring Great Expectations for Wind Blueprint to Congress
Tomorrow, a bipartisan coalition of governors from 29 states will descend upon Washington to urge congress to pass the legislation America needs to boost wind power, providing clean safe permanent energy and the jobs that go with it. They are bringing their recommendations in a report titled “Great Expectations.”
To bring the lessons they have already learned in pioneering this legislative path forward for the nation with state Renewable Energy Standards, the Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition governors are coming to offer advice as the Senate sponsors of a climate bill prepare to unveil their own comparable Federal legislation, perhaps as soon as this week.
The coalition chairman, Iowa (15% powered by wind) Democratic Gov. Chet Culver says they come in peace. “We offer our assistance in working with Congress and the administration to achieve one of the nation’s principal energy goals, energy independence, and increasing the role that wind energy plays in meeting that challenge.”
The governors are predominantly from the states that have either passed aspirational goals or that have already passed a Renewable Electricity Standard (RES), requiring electric utilities add more renewable power to the grid.
The RES has been extremely successful, and the states that have gone the furthest have the most green job growth. California, with a 33% requirement by 2020, has 36% green job growth, in an otherwise dismal job market. The RES states have lowered greenhouse gases the most. The Northeast states that added an average of 17% to the grid to meet state RES are some of the same states that have achieved greenhouse gas levels almost like Europeans, to below Kyoto 1990 levels.
Because these standards vary considerably from state to state, compliance by the electric-power and renewable-energy industries is made more difficult than it need be if there was a uniform standard.
Among their recommendations:
Fast tracking a national Renewable Energy Standard, beginning with 10% by 2012.
Developing new infrastructure for electricity transmission
Enabling transmission to distant renewable energy resources.
Funding technology to develop wind energy in “wind-rich” coastal areas.
Streamlining the permitting process for wind energy projects.
Extending an economic stimulus grant program for wind projects
Providing a long-term extension of the wind energy production tax credit.
The governors like the House cap and trade bill (Waxman-Markey ACES) in its Renewable Energy Standard (RES), and urge the Senate to provide comparable legislation. Senator Boxer’s original CEJAPA and the Republican-favored fossil “energy-only” bill (that failed its CBO report) do have a RES, the popular (cap and dividend) CLEAR Act doesn’t – yet. The much touted Bipartisan bill-to be is yet unknown.
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Image: Cianbro installing turbines of 100% wind powered island in Maine