Should Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., seek to pass a renewable electricity standard before this Congress ends?
A bipartisan group of senators led by Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., and Sam Brownback, R-Kan., recently introduced a RES measure that largely resembles the mandate included in the energy-only bill Bingaman's panel passed last summer. It would require utilities to get 15 percent of their power from renewable energy sources like wind and solar by 2021. Utilities would be allowed to use energy efficiency measures to meet a quarter of that requirement.
What are the pros and cons of the measure? Should it be expanded to include nuclear and "clean coal" technology, which many moderate Democrats and most Republicans would prefer? Should the RES be combined with any other legislation, such as a natural gas measure Reid has floated or Home Star, a home efficiency rebate program?