Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) and Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) introduced legislation that creates a national renewable energy and energy efficiency standard that will reduce carbon emissions and drive the deployment of clean energy resources around the country.
"The United States is lagging behind on energy efficiency and renewable energy resources. We have barely scratched the surface of our potential," Congressman Welch said. "This legislation charts a new energy future where energy efficiency and renewable technologies are put to work creating jobs, saving money and improving the environment."
"Promoting the use of renewable energy and increased energy efficiency is not only good for our environment, but it's also good for our economy and for consumers," Congressman Luján said. "A number of states, including my home state of New Mexico, have taken the lead on renewable energy standards. A national standard will further encourage the development of a clean energy economy that creates good jobs and enhances our economic competitiveness. This legislation will also help families who are living paycheck to paycheck by lowering energy bills and putting more money back in their pockets."
The American Renewable Energy and Efficiency Act would require electric utilities, by 2032, to obtain at least 35 percent of their electricity supply from renewable sources and achieve a 20 percent reduction in electricity use and a 13 percent reduction in natural gas use.
"We strongly support Rep. Welch and Rep. Luján's introduction of the American Renewable Energy and Efficiency Act and applaud his leadership in promoting renewable energy nationwide. The establishment of a national renewable electricity standard will lower energy costs for consumers, drive new investment and job growth, and diversify our nation's energy resources," said the American Wind Energy Association.
Union of Concerned Scientists senior energy analyst Jeff Deyette shared that support. "State Renewable Electricity Standards and Energy Efficiency Resource Standards have delivered big benefits to consumers across the country while reducing harmful emissions that cause serious health problems and contribute to climate change," he said. "These national targets can easily be met, helping to bring the entire country into line with the transition towards cleaner, cost effective sources of energy; providing economic benefits to consumers and industry in the process."
Other supporters of the legislation include Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, and the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.
Reps. Welch and Luján are members for the House Energy and Commerce Committee.