Bipartisan Bill to Determine Most Viable Alternative Energy Sources
Last night, Rep. Bill Foster (IL-14) introduced bipartisan legislation designed to determine the most viable alternative energy sources as the country continues to seek ways to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and foreign oil. Foster introduced the bill with Republican Congressmen Vern Ehlers (MI-03) and Roscoe Bartlett (MD-06).
"Our nation's energy needs cannot be sustainable in the long run if we continue to rely on oil alone -- particularly foreign oil, which has national security implications," said Foster. "But as we determine the best course for our energy future, we need to ensure that we are investing in energy sources that are efficient, affordable and economically viable. For that to happen, we need accurate reports of the actual cost of production from each energy source -- not just the optimistic cost estimates provided by proponents of each technology."
H.R. 5423, the Transparent Review of the Affordability and Cost of Electricity (TRACE) Renewable Energy Act, tasks the Energy Information Administration (EIA) with creating an annual report analyzing the cost of electricity generation per kilowatt hour by fuel type and sector. The report would also include the tons of CO2 emitted per kilowatt hour so technologies can be evaluated not just by cost, but also by their impact on the environment.
"Arming consumers with knowledge about the real cost of the energy they are using will help everyone work to conserve and consider alternatives," said Congressman Ehlers. "With the transparency that the TRACE Act provides, we will move the United States closer to energy independence and better utilization of our domestic resources. It is also important to recognize that using energy more efficiently and conserving energy will reduce the need for more energy resources and further reduce our dependence on foreign energy sources."
Congressman Bartlett said, "There have been many significant changes in federal energy policies and advances in energy technologies in the past five years. The TRACE Act is a strong bipartisan bill that will give consumers, investors and policymakers the ability to compare the cost and the carbon footprint per kilowatt hour of different energy sources used to produce electricity, both before and after taxpayer subsidies. The TRACE Act is a tool that Americans need so that we can make informed choices about energy sources to heat, cool and light our homes and businesses. The TRACE Act will help strengthen our economy and protect our environment."
Concluded Foster, "As we move toward an increased use of alternative energy, it is important that we invest, as a nation, in the energy forms that make the most economic sense. The annual report that will result from my legislation will allow us to determine which energy sources will best reduce greenhouse gas emissions and also which energy sources can thrive independently and efficiently in the marketplace."