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Monday, July 30, 2007

Swing Votes in Upcoming House Renewable Energy Standard Vote

As I mentioned last week, the U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote on an amendment to an energy package that would create a national renewable energy standard (RES) requiring utilities to increase the amount of renewable energy in their mix.

This is going to be a very key vote, and all the 'intel' is that the vote count is exceedingly close! It may come down to just a handful of votes, and since the Senate failed to make progress on a national RES last month (see previous post), this may be the last chance this year to get this crucial clean energy legislation passed.

The American Wind Energy Association is targeting the following 11 members of Congress with a media and grassroots campaign to pressure these key swing votes:

Affiliation Media Market

  1. Michelle Bachman R-MN Minneapolis , MN

  2. Tom Davis R-VA Washington , DC

  3. Frank Wolf R-VA Washington , DC

  4. Tom Petri R-WI Green Bay , WI

  5. Chet Edwards D-TX Waco , TX

  6. Bradley Ellsworth D-IN Terre Haute , IN

  7. Bobby Etheridge D-NC Raleigh-Durham , NC

  8. Brad Miller D-NC Raleigh-Durham , NC

  9. Mary Bono R-CA Palm Springs , CA

  10. Tim Holden D-PA Harrisburg , PA

  11. Fred Upton R-MI Grand Rapids , MI

If any of these congress critters belong to you (are your reps), now's the time to get on the phone, write a letter and generally give 'em hell until they support the Udall-Platts Renewable Energy Standard amendment.

Let them know that the U.S. needs a National Renewable Energy Standard to spur the country’s renewable energy market, generate millions of new jobs over the next decade, and lower electric bills for consumers and businesses alike — not to mention help slow the devastating impacts of global warming.

A National Renewable Energy Standard is a win-win-win-win piece of legislation! Let your representatives know. There's plenty of info and talking points and an easy 'take action' link at

According to AWEA, studies show a National Renewable Energy Standard will:

  • Slow global warming. By displacing the use of fossil fuels to generate electricity, an RES can cut emissions of conventional pollutants and greenhouse gases. A 20% RES would reduce carbon dioxide CO 2 emissions by 15% below business-as-usual levels, equivalent to taking nearly 71 million cars off the road.

  • Reduce energy bills. Energy research firm Wood Mackenzie found that an RES would lower natural gas and electricity prices and save more than $100 billion for American consumers.

  • Create jobs. Wind and solar energy are likely to be among the largest sources of new manufacturing jobs worldwide during the 21st Century. A recent Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) study found that a 20% RES by 2020 would create over 350,000 new American jobs.

  • Revitalize rural America. Farmers and rural land owners in windy areas are reaping payments of $3,000-$8,000 per turbine per year, while still being able to work their land. The “wind harvest” can carry hard-pressed farmers through difficult times, such as droughts, even if crops fail.

  • Strengthen energy security. Domestic renewable energy can reduce projected imports of liquid natural gas (LNG) from such unstable regions as Qatar, Russia and Iran and reduce U.S. energy payments to these nations.

  • All good reasons your representative should vote in support of the Udall-Plats Renewable Energy Standard amendment.

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