[Sign on by contacting Katie Nekola, 608-251-7020 ext. 14)
RENEWABLE ELECTRICITY STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES
We the undersigned strongly support increasing our use of homegrown renewable resources like wind, solar, geothermal, and biomass to 20 percent of America’s electricity by 2020. Increasing our use of renewable energy is critical to reducing global warming pollution, protecting our environment, and strengthening the economy.
More than twenty states and the District of Columbia have already enacted Renewable Electricity Standards (RES) and are reaping the benefits. In addition, ten states have increased or accelerated their standards. This policy has proven to be an effective, efficient, and popular driver of expanded renewable energy development. It is time to bring those benefits to the rest of the nation.
Developing our renewable energy resources will create jobs, save consumers money and bolster rural economies. Recent analyses by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) found that a requiring 20 percent of electric generation from renewable energy sources by the year 2020 would create over 355,000 new high-paying jobs and save consumers at least $49 billion on their electric and natural gas bills.
In addition, by shifting away from fossil fuels, we can diversify and secure our energy supply while reducing global warming pollution. A 2006 analysis by U.S. PIRG found that by obtaining 20 percent of our electricity from renewable energy sources by 2020, we could cut global warming pollution over 500 million tons, the equivalent of taking approximately 89 million cars off the road. Similarly, a report released last month by the renewable energy scientists of the American Solar Energy Society indicates that renewable energy alone can help us reduce our global warming emissions 26-34 percent by 2050. The recently released U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report underscores the urgent need for these reductions.
In time of rising energy costs and the threat of global warming impacts such as sea level rise, increased droughts and more intense tropical storms, we need a new energy future. Increasing our use of renewable energy is a critical step toward a cleaner, more secure energy future. That’s why we strongly support increasing our use of renewable energy to 20 percent renewable energy by 2020.