Target: Ron Wyden; Chairman, United States Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
Goal: Stop passage of Electricity Freedom Act
The American Legislative Exchange Council is trying to suppress the use of renewable energy sources by enacting the Electricity Freedom Act. This initiative would quell mandates now currently requiring investor-owned utilities to glean a percentage of their energy from renewable sources.
Renewable sources of energy – such as wind, wood, the ocean and sun, and the earth’s core – provide fuels, hydraulic, and hydroelectric power. They are also more quickly replenished than the fossil fuels we currently rely so heavily upon. Combustible fossil fuels like coal, oil, natural gas, petroleum, and methane are being tapped at a threatening rate. The cost incurred to run facilities that burn these fuels is mounted to the risks that come from their carbon dioxide emissions. Alarmingly, the Environmental Protection Agency reports that carbon dioxide absorption by natural processes can only contend with half of the pollutants currently being produced from the burning of fossil fuels.
The American Legislative Exchange Council consists mainly of representatives from oil and gas, and power company titans like BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Koch Industries, and Shell. These stealthy conglomerates seek to stop progress being made by the renewable energy movement.
In 2002 California established its Renewables Portfolio Standard, a step that has accelerated into a 33% renewable energy requirement by 2020. Last year, California’s three biggest utility suppliers, Pacific Gas and Electric, San Diego Gas and Electric, and Southern California Edison, collectively supplied 19.8% of their customers with power from renewable energy sources. Other states are rallying the arena as well. Currently, twenty-nine states and Washington, DC have renewable energy standards to meet. Illinois shows victorious in 2011 by utilizing wind and other renewable resources, resulting in a savings of $177 million.
Organizations like The American Legislative Exchange Council and their sister foundation, The American Tradition Institute, must not be allowed to stop the clean energy momentum being gained due to renewable energy alternatives.
The Electricity Freedom Act threatens the future that renewable energy can provide. This act seeks to disarm states’ requirements on percentages of renewable energy supplied by investor-owned utilities.
The benefit of reduced carbon emissions, an economic boost through green energy jobs and economic development, as well as a desperately needed suppression in the reliance on fossil fuels must be allowed to flourish. Rejection of the Electricity Freedom Act should be immediately adhered to.
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Photo Credit: Martini DK via Flickr