Senate Energy Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., believes the votes are present in the Senate to pass a renewable electricity standard. To that end, Bingaman and Senator Sam Brownback, R-Kan., have introduced a bipartisan bill to create a national Renewable Electricity Standard. The bill is similar to standards that were passed by the Senate Energy Committee nearly one year ago. The bill includes support for nuclear power and "clean coal" carbon sequestration.
The bill would phase in a requirement to increase the share of electricity coming from renewable energy sources starting in 2010 and top out at 15% by the year 2021. Wind, solar, ocean, geothermal, biomass, landfill gas, incremental hydropower, hydrokinetic, new hydropower and waste-to-energy would qualify for meeting the mandate.