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US Readers: Action Alert – Renewable Energy Support Endangered November 14, 2007

Posted by Michael Hoexter in Green Activism, News and Events, Renewable Energy.
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The climate of short-sighted compromise and legislative solipsism in the US Congress is endangering important provisions of the 2007 Energy Bill that was supposed to put US Energy policy on a new footing.  Subsidies for gas and oil exploration were to be cut while renewable energy was to get new support in the form of a national Renewable Portfolio Standard/RPS (rule that utilities need to supply a certain percentage of their energy from renewable energy) and production tax credits for renewable energy generated, a key incentive to renewable energy investors.  

The US House of Representatives has passed two bills:  HR 3221 (the New Direction for Energy Independence) and HR 2776 (the Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act) but they need to be jointly passed by both House and Senate to become law.  These bills jointly would see a transfer of the $23 billion subsidy of the fossil fuel industry to renewable energy projects.  Over the weekend, rumor has it that the renewable energy provisions of these bills will be cut, including the tax credits and RPS provisions.

While these bills are not the absolutely ideal ways to promote renewable energy (a feed-in tariff is most effective as witnessed by the growth of renewable energy investment in Europe) they are good starts.  Also, the US Southeast with diffuse sunlight and low wind speeds will need extra technical and policy help in developing a renewable infrastructure and/or means of investing in renewable energy outside the region.  For Southeasterners, biomass to electricity with carbon capture (carbon negative) might be a way to get extra credit for renewable electric generation capacity in those states that actually subtracts existing carbon from the atmosphere.

So, please, US readers, call your Senators and Congresspeople!  Here is the legislative action page of the website of the American Wind Energy association:

http://capwiz.com/windenergy/home/

And here is the website of Solar Nation with a similar feature:

http://www.solar-nation.org/

You can read more about the bills here:

http://energypriorities.com/entries/2007/11/energy_bill_2007.php


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