Twenty-four states already have renewable electricity standards and several have strengthened those standards over the past few years. According to UCS analysis, developing a national market for renewable power will create jobs, increase farm income and lead to significant consumer savings on electricity bills.
Passage of the renewable electricity standard was a long time in the making. The US Senate had passed a 10 percent RPS three times since 2002—most recently in June 2005. This year, a vote on a renewable electricity standard was blocked during the Senate's energy bill debate.Representative Tom Udall (D-N.M.), the amendment's lead sponsor in the House called the vote "a great victory for the planet." Marchant Wentworth, UCS's legislative representative for clean energy said the bill "makes a down payment on reducing the threat of global warming."
The full energy bill passed by a vote of 241-172. Now a conference committee is slated to reconcile differences in each chamber's bill. Also at stake is a significant increase in Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards for cars and trucks in the Senate version of the bill.