Renewable Power Passes Key Test

Committee keeps renewable mandate.

A renewable power mandate, the centerpiece of President Obama's energy policy, survived a key test Thursday in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. The panel defeated by a vote of 13-9 an amendment to kill the renewable electricity title of a broad energy bill the committee is developing. The mandate would require that 15% of the nation's electricity come from renewable sources such as wind and solar by 2021, a fivefold increase from the 3% produced today.


A transformation in the way electricity is generated, distributed and sold is viewed as the first major step in reducing the nation's greenhouse gas emissions and shifting to an energy economy less dependent on fossil fuels.


Still, the committee must consider more than 50 amendments related to the title, but according to Senator Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., this vote determines that there will be a renewable standard in the bill. Work on the bill is expected to resume after the Memorial Day recess.

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