Alexander Says ‘Renewable Electricity Standard’ Basically a ‘National Windmill Policy’

Says Renewable Electricity Standard in House Bill Too Narrow, Expensive and Excludes Clean Nuclear Power

Posted on August 6, 2009

U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today asked the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, of which he is a member, “If the title of this hearing is ‘Clean Energy Revolution,’ then why don’t we have a clean energy standard? Why are we leaving out nuclear power which produces 70 percent of our carbon-free electricity today?” “There is a renewable electricity standard in the House bill that requires utilities to create 20 percent of their electricity by 2020 from a narrowly defined group of renewable energies – wind, solar, geothermal and hydro,” the senator continued. “It’s a continuation of what I call a national windmill policy.” “This basically mandates that Tennesseans buy wind power from South Dakota, which makes no sense. We need to have a base-load clean energy standard that includes nuclear power,” Alexander continued. Alexander said that even if the nation doubles or triples its wind and solar-power capacity, that would still only amount to 10 percent of its electricity, leaving most utilities in states well short of the 20 percent mandate and still needing the inexpensive base-load power Americans rely on. Alexander said that Congress should consider Republican proposals to build 100 new nuclear power plants, encourage electric cars and trucks, explore offshore for oil and gas, and double funding for research and development to make renewable energy cost-competitive with other forms of energy.