A cross-section of Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee are backing legislation that would require U.S. electric companies to generate 15 percent of their power from renewable sources of energy and to demonstrate annual electricity savings of 5 percent by 2020. The provision includes an out for states that can't meet the mandate: Governors would have the option of reducing the renewable mandate to 12 percent and increasing the efficiency requirement to 8 percent.
House backers of the renewable electricity standard include committee Chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif.; Energy and Environment Subcommittee Chairman Edward Markey, D-Mass.; and moderate Reps. John Dingell, D-Mich., and John Boucher, D-Va.
Does the proposal go far enough to promote the use of renewable electricity? Would all states reasonably be expected to meet the 15 percent renewable mandate? How would it affect the electricity industry? Will it create winners and losers? Is there a better way to push for more renewable electricity?