In delivering his speech on the Senate floor today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall, D-N.M is introducing a plan for even more green energy and more green jobs – on top of the stimulus package. The plan?
According a release from U.S. Senator Tom Udall’s office, Tom continued his fight to enact a federal Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) into law by introducing legislation that would require utilities to generate 25 percent of their electricity from wind, solar and other renewable energy sources by 2025. The bill, Udall’s first since being elected to the Senate, would set the first national threshold for utilities to provide 6 percent of their electricity from renewable resources by 2012, and gradually increases thereafter to meet the 25 percent by 2025 goal.”
You can find his speech here. On a positive note Senator Udall included some domestic drilling and more nuclear to add to the nation’s energy portfolio. But a federal renewable electricity standard is a policy that has been introduced and failed in Congress before and it doesn’t deserve support this time. In reality, the mandate to use wind, solar, and other renewable energy sources is a market-distorting policy that diverts resources away actual energy producing sources.
The result of an RES will be less reliable electricity and higher prices for the taxpayer and the ratepayer. As Ben Lieberman, Senior Policy Analyst for Energy and Environment issues here at Heritage writes,
The only reason why renewable electricity needs to be mandated in the first place is that these alternatives are far too expensive to compete otherwise. In effect, Washington is forcing costlier energy options on the public. This is particularly true for certain states, especially those in the Southeast, where the conditions are not conducive to wind power.
Moreover, these sources of electricity are intermittent and unreliable and thus pose problems beyond the added costs. And like ethanol, renewable sources of electricity enjoy substantial tax breaks; thus, the mandate will cost Americans both as taxpayers and as ratepayers.”
While renewable electricity portfolio standards were defeated or stripped out of bills in the past, with more Democrats in Congress and a Democrat sitting in the White House who loves green energy, the challenges may reach new heights. Unless we want higher electric bills and rolling brownouts and blackouts in our future, a renewable electricity standard cannot be part of it.