A Clean Energy Standard for America
March 02, 2012
10:22 AM EDT
This week, answering the President’s call in the last two State of the Union addresses, Senator Bingaman proposed legislation that would establish a Clean Energy Standard for America. This is an important step towards the President’s goal of doubling clean energy by 2035, and we look forward to working with Congress as the bill moves forward.
Since taking office, President Obama has been committed to an all-of-the-above energy strategy that expands production of American energy resources, like oil and natural gas; increases energy efficiency to save families and businesses money at the pump; and drives investment and innovation in clean energy technologies.
A centerpiece of that strategy is the President’s ambitious but achievable goal to double the share of the Nation’s electricity from clean energy sources – including renewable energy sources like wind, solar, biomass, and hydropower; nuclear power; efficient natural gas; clean coal; even new technologies that have yet to be invented. It’s a wide-ranging approach that will drive innovation and create jobs across the country.
Over the past three years, the Obama Administration has already made significant progress. We’ve made the largest investment in renewable energy in American history. We’ve nearly doubled the amount of electricity generated from renewable sources like wind, solar, and geothermal. We’ve supported the world’s largest wind farm and several of the largest solar power projects. Domestic production of natural gas has risen to near-record levels, and last year the first new nuclear power plant was approved in three decades.
But we need to do more. We need to take additional steps to build a clean energy economy that can creates new jobs, reduces pollution, and makes America more competitive. The legislation introduced by Senator Bingaman this week is an important step forward in meeting that goal.
A Clean Energy Standard is a flexible, market-based approach that will set annual targets for electricity from clean energy sources, while allowing businesses and entrepreneurs to determine the best way to achieve them – ensuring that clean energy will be produced wherever it makes the most economic sense.
A CES will make America a leader in the clean energy economy. By establishing a market for innovative clean energy technologies, it will move billions of dollars of capital off of the sidelines and into investments that will create jobs. A CES will help to ensure that the clean energy technologies of the future are developed and manufactured here in America instead of being imported from China and other countries. And it will tap into diverse sources of energy we can develop right here at home, keeping our energy supply clean, affordable, and secure.
Nat Keohane, Special Assistant to the President for Energy & Environment