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Pew Trust: Amendment adopted to preserve DOD’s ability to purchase and invest in advanced biofuels; Lugar-Yea, Coats-Nay November 29, 2012

Posted by Laura Arnold in Uncategorized.
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Dear IndianaDG Readers:

Further amendments to the Senate Defense Programs Bill Continue on the floor of the US Senate.

To watch go to:  http://c-span.org/Live-Video/C-SPAN2/ 

The vote was on S.Amdt. 2985 to S.3254 and was passed 62-37.

Indiana’s US Senators voted as follows:

Lugar (R-IN) Yea

Coats (R-IN) Nay

Thank you Sen. Lugar!

Laura Ann Arnold

Statement by Phyllis Cuttino, director, Pew Project on National Security, Energy and Climate, regarding the passage of a National Defense Authorization Act amendment to preserve the Department of Defense’s ability to purchase and invest in advanced biofuels.

WASHINGTON (Nov. 28, 2012) – “Today, the U.S. Senate preserved the Department of Defense’s ability to purchase, test and certify advanced biofuels for ships, airplanes and vehicles. We applaud the 62 senators, including Mark Udall (D-CO) and co-sponsors, for supporting the military’s clean energy initiative. Advanced biofuels will help reduce the Pentagon’s dependence on foreign oil, protect the fuel budget against the volatile price of oil and strengthen our national security.”

NOTE:

There could be another vote on advanced biofuels. Sen. Kay Hagan’s (D-NC) amendment would strike Section 2823 (Sen. McCain) which would prohibit the Navy’s ability to provide funds for the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the departments of Agriculture and Energy in fiscal 2013 unless Congress specifically authorized it through an act of Congress. The MOU, signed by President Barack Obama in 2011 (http://1.usa.gov/TfuS9Y), established the public-private initiative to spur commercial production of drop-in advanced biofuels for the military’s energy needs through the construction of biorefineries. We hope the sense of the Senate prevails on this matter as well.

Media Contact: Tracy Schario, tschario@pewtrusts.org202-540-6582

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At Purdue energy summit, Sen. Lugar says alternatives must be pursued September 15, 2012

Posted by Laura Arnold in Uncategorized.
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Original article: http://www.jconline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2012309140050

11:08 PM, Sep 14, 2012

Written b MaryJane Slaby

To close the Lugar Collegiate Energy Summit, Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., took the stage at Loeb Playhouse in the Stewart Center at Purdue University.

The fourth annual summit was Friday at Purdue. Organized by a new student group, the Purdue Energy Forum, the summit included students from around the state as well as from Illinois.

Lugar spoke about “Our Nation’s Energy Future,” saying the solutions for alternative energy are both personal and global.

“It’s crucial we think about energy,” he said.

The opportunities to reduce energy use are everywhere from homes to farms to businesses, Lugar said. And each time a person reduces energy use, he said, she can increase savings and help pioneer energy efficiency.

Lugar said he believes the American people know that striving for energy independence is very real. He said he knows that will take persistence.

“I hope alternative sources move beyond the lab,” he said.

Using corn ethanol instead of oil was something Lugar said he rejoiced about. But the difficulty is in distribution, and the business hasn’t spread from the Midwest, he said. One reason there are few fuel stations that feature ethanol is pressure from oil companies, he said.

Alexis Boxer, organizer for Purdue’s Sierra Student Coalition, said she was disappointed to hear a discussion of clean coal, since she believes coal is never clean. But she was happy to hear Lugar’s support for the wind industry.

He said it’s important to look into all potential sources of energy, from windmills to solar panels to ethanol.

Lugar said he knows that nuclear energy has a bad reputation, and major concerns are storage and cost, but he said he’d like nuclear energy to be considered more as a fuel source. Lugar said he thinks oil and natural gas will be relied on for a long time.

Such countries as China and India are growing, and more people are using fossil fuels and won’t want to limit usage, he said. To make changes to lessen climate change, Lugar said, it will require leadership from not just the U.S., but the world.

Climate change is abstract until something negative happens, he said.

Boxer said events like the summit are educational opportunities and that the topic of alternative energy can be complex to understand.

“We’re going to need more than a day,” she said.

Meher Taleyarkhan, a Purdue sophomore and member of the forum, said she thought the day was informative. She hopes to work in the energy industry after graduation.

The summit was the group’s way to establish credibility and start the school year, said the forum’s president, Anthony Wurl, a Purdue senior. He said Lugar’s credibility and the respect he receives was a big part of the summit.

“He’s a great advocate for energy independence,” Wurl said.

South Bend alternative energy supporter hopes Sen. Lugar continues effort for energy jobs in Indiana May 1, 2012

Posted by Laura Arnold in Biofuels, Federal energy legislation, Uncategorized.
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Dear IndianaDG Readers,

I just received this via email this evening. I just called Sam and told him that I would share his Op Ed with IndianaDG readers. Here goes…

Laura Ann Arnold

Hello Laura,

I am a resident in South Bend and have been a supporter of alternative energy for many years. I am hoping that Senator Lugar will continue his tremendous effort for energy jobs in Indiana along with support from the community.  I have written an op ed that I think outlines the Senators recent achievements and I was hoping to share it with your viewers.  I have attached my copy for your review please accept my kindest regards and best wishes.

Sincerely,

Sam Pellerito

sampellerito@gmail.com

Farm Energy Has Made Tremendous Progress

The good news about the Senate Agriculture Committee’s draft Farm Bill, released last week, is that it reauthorizes renewable energy and energy efficiency programs. These programs are just beginning to have a positive impact in revitalizing rural America, fueling economic growth and job creation where we need it most. Ongoing funding for these programs would provide the highest return on taxpayer dollars and ensure the future of emerging energy and renewable chemical markets.

The Farm Bill enacted 10 years ago in 2002 was the first to contain an energy title. But most of the programs being reauthorized only came into being in 2008. And it wasn’t until late 2010 and early 2011 that final rules for these programs were published.

Still, in that relatively short time span, these programs have helped renewable energy companies unlock private capital for construction of advanced biorefineries, something that has been extraordinarily difficult during the recent economic downturn. They have also helped farmers in over 150 counties across 10 states begin to put more than 150,000 acres of underutilized farmland into production of next generation energy crops. The programs have further ignited an explosion of innovation and early commercialization of renewable chemicals here in the United States. Overall, the programs have demonstrated a high rate of success.

The Biobased Markets Program, first enacted in 2002, has been tremendously successful in supporting the emergence of a new market for agriculture-based or biobased products. The first six categories of products eligible for this program were designated in March 2006, following a lengthy rulemaking process. By 2007, a U.S. International Trade Commission survey of the industry identified 5,700 workers at 159 companies manufacturing these products. Today, there are 64 categories of biobased products eligible for the program. And a recent Iowa State survey of the industry has identified more than 100,000 workers making or selling these products.

The first large-scale renewable chemical company in the United States, NatureWorks LLC in Nebraska, was established in 2002. In 2009, the plant doubled capacity in order to meet demand for its renewable, biodegradable product. Similarly, another early renewable chemical company, DuPont Tate & Lyle Bioproducts in Tennessee, recently expanded production to meet rising demand. Myriant is working to complete a large scale biorefinery in Louisiana to produce renewable chemicals. And many other renewable chemical companies are looking to locate new construction here in the United States, if the policy environment is right.

The Biorefinery Assistance Program can show a similar record of success. While it is rooted in the 2002 Farm Bill’s grant program, the program only began to work with private companies in late 2009. The first advanced biofuel biorefineries successfully secured private financing in late 2011, with the backing of this program. INEOS New Planet Energy is under construction in Florida and will begin commercial production of cellulosic biofuel this summer.

The Farm Bill’s energy title programs have provided a strong return for American taxpayers and have produced demonstrated results. New markets for agricultural products are emerging, creating new opportunities for U.S. companies and skilled workers. The programs are also providing environmental benefits, because renewable energy and chemicals are cleaner, safer and healthier. Congress should continue to provide significant funding for the farm bill energy title so we can continue to foster American innovation.  With the progress that has been made and with more companies ready to build biobased manufacturing facilities, these forward-looking, high-return programs are a much-needed part of the Farm Bill.

Indiana US Senators Lugar and Coats Vote Against Amendment to Extend Renewable Tax Credits; Fails on tie vote of 49-49 March 17, 2012

Posted by Laura Arnold in Federal energy legislation, Uncategorized.
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This article is from 25x’25.

The 25x’25 Weekly REsource is a digest that features items from this week’s blog site, the 25x’25 REsource, and other sources. The 25x’25 REsource and the 25x’25 Weekly REsource complement the role of 25x’25 as an objective and trusted source of information on agricultural and forestry renewable energy and climate solutions. To subscribe to the 25x’25 Blog, click here for simple instructions. Also, visit us at our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter.

Amendment to Extend Renewable Tax Credits Falls Short; New Proposal Surfaces

Legislation extending and renewing a variety of renewable energy tax benefits failed to pass the Senate this week, falling on a tie vote Tuesday, 49-49. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) introduced the package of nearly 20 credits and programs as an amendment to the Surface Transportation Authorization bill passed by the Senate Wednesday.

However, late Thursday, a bipartisan group of lawmakers, headed by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) proposed a narrower package of tax credit extensions for renewable technologies.

The legislation would extend through the end of 2014 the wind-energy production tax credit (PTC) set to expire Dec. 31, as well as a PTC for several other technologies set to expire at the end of 2013. The measure, which may be attached to a jobs bill that passed out of the House by a wide margin and is pending on the Senate floor, would extend a tax deduction of 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour to developers of wind and closed-loop biomass systems. A 1.1-cent/kWh tax credit would be extended to those developing open-loop biomass, geothermal, landfill gas, municipal solid waste, hydropower and marine and hydrokinetic facilities. The credits apply to projects that come into service before Jan. 1, 2015.

Elements in the Stabenow amendment not included in the measure from Grassley and other senators is an extension of the “Section 1603” Treasury Department Program offering grants in lieu of tax credits to provide developers more liquidity in a tight credit market, while stabilizing investment.

Also rejected earlier this week, 21-76, was another amendment, this one from Sen. Jim Demint, R-S.C., which he said would end all energy-related tax credits and use the savings to establish a lower, flat-rate corporate tax.

Stabenow had argued that allowing the credits and programs to expire, or remain expired, would be tantamount to a tax increase on “businesses that are creating clean energy jobs in America.” The amendment even had the support of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

But the measure fell far short of the 60 votes required for passage under Senate rules, with a number of negative votes stemming from lawmakers’ refusal to extend programs originally funded under the American Restoration and Recovery Act, President Obama’s 2009 stimulus bill.

The Grassley bill is expected to draw the support of members who rejected the Stabenow measure because it revived elements of the American Recovery and Restoration Act, legislation pushed by President Obama as a one-time stimulus package aimed at helping revive the nation’s stagnating economy.

Industry leaders are continually exploring other vehicles by which the credits and programs can be revived and extended, though many had seen the bipartisan-supported surface transportation as the only viable possibility of passage in a highly contentious Congress during a presidential election year. Some have suggested a lame-duck session after the November elections may be an opportunity.

However, reports indicate Grassley may attach his coalition’s proposal to a jobs bill that widely passed the House and is now pending on the Senate floor. Action may come as soon as next week.

Indiana U.S. Senators  Daniel Coats  and Richard Lugar both voted NO.

Coats, Daniel                                        – (R – IN) Class III
493 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC       20510
(202) 224-5623
                             Web Form:                         www.coats.senate.gov/contact/
Lugar, Richard G.                                        – (R – IN) Class I
306 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
(202) 224-4814
                             Web Form:                       www.lugar.senate.gov/contact/

Brian Howey: Big energy change$ coming whether Senate acts or not July 18, 2010

Posted by Laura Arnold in Emissions Trading/Cap and Trade, Federal energy legislation.
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Howey Politics Indiana
Friday, July 16, 2010  Original article

 BY: BRIAN A. HOWEY
Publisher

Friday, July 16, 2010

ZIONSVILLE – Think back a century. After Elwood Haynes had rolled his horseless carriage out into the dusty streets of Kokomo, American society was transformed. But it came with a cost.
 
America would spend trillions of dollars to retool wagon and bicycle shops to build these carriages or “cars.” We would pave our streets, put up stoplights, create interstates in the ensuing six decades. Life changed in dramatic ways just as the skyline along Interstate 65 and State Road 43 has changed over the past year in Northwest Indiana as hundreds of wind turbines have popped up.
 
That’s what we are facing today as the U.S. Senate takes up landmark energy legislation. There is an extremely narrow window – the next two weeks – that provides the dramatic scenario for the best chance of a landmark energy bill to emerge from the U.S. Senate. It is an opportunity that may not present itself again for years if not decades.
 
But multiple Senate, utility and environmental groups tell me that bills by U.S. Sen. Dick Lugar and Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Jeff Bingaman are unlikely to pass. Any bill debated will likely not include the carbon cap President Obama sought.
 
“The number of votes for Cap-and-Trade are slipping,” said John Goss, who heads the Indiana office of the National Wildlife Federation. “It’s nowhere near the 60 votes,” particularly after the death of U.S. Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W. Va.
  
“This is our best chance in a decade,” Goss said.
  
Andy Fisher, spokesman for Sen. Lugar was skeptical anything will pass. He said that if Majority Leader Harry Reid gets a bill to the floor, “There will be debate and some consensus. But I just don’t see how the process will get 60 votes. I don’t think this is in Reid’s agenda due to a number of factors, including Reid’s own reelection.”
 
Fisher agrees that “change is going to happen in every part of the energy spectrum.” He added that there is more chance of a bipartisan bill next year. “I think there is actually strong bipartisan interest in an energy bill. There is not bipartisan interest in a climate bill.”
 
Beyond the Senate, Fisher said there would be a huge gap between anything the Senate passes and the Waxman-Markey bill that passed the House. “Just given the political climate right now, a conference with Waxman-Markey would not be popular in the House. Most don’t want that vote to come up.”

What happens in the Senate (or doesn’t) could have an impact on the way Indiana powers itself as well as what consumers (industry and homeowners) pay for power.
 
One utility source told me that consumers could easily face energy cost increases in the 25 to 40 percent range due to the legislation. The source, however, acknowledges that it already faces increasing demand and the need to refit or rebuild most of its generation stations. NiSource, for instance, counts its newest generation plant at 25 years old. Before the days of Obama, industry sources were saying that Hoosier consumers were facing daunting rate increases.
 
Indiana utilities warn of the costs associated with transforming the state’s aging power generation plants into clean coal technologies, scrubbers, or conversion from coal to natural gas. The state and investors have already anted up for ethanol and wind power, neither of which would exist without heavy government subsidy and have the reliability of coal. Utility sources say that studies have shown wind power to have about an 8 percent reliability standard, compared to 85 percent for a coal fired plant.
 
What Indiana does have is a lot of biomass – particularly hog and cow manure that could represent what was once deemed waste turning into brown gold.
  
Gov. Mitch Daniels has been critical of Cap-and-Trade, saying that capping carbon wouldn’t “lower the thermometer by a half a degree in 50 years.” He has said the cost of businesses like high-energy-using steel plants and foundries could put them out of business or force them to move.
  
Goss says that is shortsighted and cites “overwhelming scientific evidence” that Indiana and the rest of the world are facing climate change dilemmas. He said that cold water fish such as trout and salmon may be gone from lakes and rivers over the next 30 years in Northern Indiana and Southern Michigan if current climate trends continue. The Audubon Society is reporting “dozens of species of birds new to areas north of the Ohio River.” Gardening, planting and frost tables are changing, with seed companies placing Indiana in southern climates.
 
With wrenching change comes opportunity. An electric utility that may be forced to spend hundreds of millions to switch from coal to natural gas fired plants or clean coal could also find hundreds of thousands new consumers with thousands of cars and trucks that will be plugged in at night instead of visiting a gas station once or twice a week.
 
If Congress doesn’t act, the EPA will. Change in energy is inevitable.

Obama to Host Bipartisan Senate Meeting on Energy; Sen. Lugar Invited June 28, 2010

Posted by Laura Arnold in Federal energy legislation, Uncategorized.
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June 25, 2010, 1:34 p.m.
By Jennifer Bendery
Roll Call Staff


Updated: 4:16 p.m.

President Barack Obama will meet with a bipartisan group of Senators on Tuesday to discuss the path forward for comprehensive energy legislation, the White House announced Friday.

The meeting was originally scheduled for last Wednesday but was postponed. Lawmakers invited to the meeting include Sens. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), John Kerry (D-Mass.), Dick Lugar (R-Ind.), Joe Lieberman (ID-Conn.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.).

Obama has been trying to jump-start stalled energy legislation in the wake of the Gulf Coast oil spill, which he has referred to as “a wake-up call” on the need for reform. He has been personally reaching out to a number of GOP Senators, including Scott Brown (Mass.) and George LeMieux (Fla.), to try to build momentum on the issue.

CRS Comparison of Selected Energy and Climate Change Bills June 27, 2010

Posted by Laura Arnold in Federal energy legislation.
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This report was sent to us from Lane Ralph in U.S. Senator Dick Lugar’s office.

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) has prepared a memorandum that provides a short summary and comparison of four legislative proposals that may receive attention in the U.S. Senate during the next few months.  While all four proposals fall within the broad category of energy and climate change policy, the specifics of the proposals vary significantly, and their approaches vary in many ways. The four proposals analyzed are as follows:

  •  S. 1462, the American Clean Energy Leadership Act (ACELA) of 2009, was introduced by Senator Bingaman and reported by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on July 16, 2009 (S.Rept. 111-48). S. 1462 is a broad energy bill aimed at promoting the development of clean energy technologies, increasing energy efficiency, and promoting domestic energy resources.1 Incentives for new technology include a renewable energy standard (RES) for electric utilities. The bill does not directly address greenhouse gas emissions: provisions for a greenhouse gas cap-and-trade system were instead included in S. 1733, the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act, sponsored by Senators Kerry and Boxer, and reported by the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on February 2, 2010.

 

  • S. 2877, the Carbon Limits and Energy for America’s Renewal (CLEAR) Act, was introduced by Senators Cantwell and Collins on December 11, 2009 and has been referred to the Senate Committee on Finance. S. 2877 would establish a program to control only carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions (covering 80% of U.S. GHG emissions), requiring fossil fuel producers (e.g., coal mines, gas wellheads) and importers to submit “carbon shares” for the CO2 emissions related to the fossil fuels they produce or import. The President would limit (or cap) the quantity of carbon shares available for submission each year, and the Department of Treasury would distribute all of the carbon shares through monthly auctions.

 

  • S. 3464, the Practical Energy and Climate Plan Act of 2010, was introduced by Senators Lugar, Graham, and Murkowski on June 9, 2010 and has been referred to the Senate Committee on Finance. S. 3464 is a broad energy bill aimed at promoting thedevelopment of clean energy technologies, increasing energy efficiency, and promoting domestic energy resources. Instead of a renewable energy standard (RES) like that contained in S. 1462, S. 3464 contains a “Diverse Energy Standard” which would permit the use of a broad range of electric generation technologies including renewables, but also including nuclear energy and advanced coal generation with carbon capture and storage. Other provisions include building and vehicle efficiency standards and nuclear energy loan guarantees. The bill does not contain a mandatory scheme to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

 

  • A discussion draft of the American Power Act (APA) was released on May 12, 2010 by Senators Kerry and Lieberman. A comprehensive energy and climate change policy proposal, the draft would set GHG reduction goals similar to those in H.R. 2454 (the bill most comparable to the APA draft),3 which passed the House in June 2009. The APA employs a market-based cap-and-trade scheme for electric generators and industry with a separate price mechanism to cover emissions from transportation fuels. The draft proposal would allocate a significant amount of allowance value to energy consumers, low-income households, and the promotion of low-carbon energy technologies. In addition, the draft would provide incentives for the expansion of nuclear power, carbon capture and storage technology, and advanced vehicles.

To read the complete comparison and analysis of these four energy and climate change bills by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) please see the document posted below.

CRS Comparison of Energy & Climate Change Bills June 24[1]

Lugar’s energy bill press conference statement June 9, 2010

Posted by Laura Arnold in Federal energy legislation, Uncategorized.
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Video from the entire press conference will be available on Lugar’s YouTube page: http://www.youtube.com/senatorlugar


Broadcast quality audio (.mp3 file) of the entire press conference will be available at: http://lugar.senate.gov/press/audio

Dick Lugar

U.S. Senator for Indiana

Date: 06/09/2010 • http://lugar.senate.gov

Andy Fisher • 202-224-2079 • andy_fisher@lugar.senate.gov

U.S. Sen. Dick Lugar today introduced his Practical Energy and Climate Plan, S. 3464, and made the following statement at a press conference. Full details of the bill, including text, an updated outline, a two-page summary, video of the press conference and more are available at http://lugar.senate.gov/energy. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) also appeared at the press conference and is a cosponsor of the bill. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, also cosponsored the bill today.

The most recent Congressional Connection Poll by the Pew Research Center and National Journal indicated that 81 percent of Americans believe Congress’ top priority should be creating jobs. This poll has consistently indicated the lowest priority of our constituents is dealing with climate change, with just 32 percent suggesting this in the most recent poll.

The same poll indicated that two-thirds of Americans said it was important for Congress to act on our country’s energy needs.

Waxman-Markey legislation in the House and Kerry-Lieberman legislation in the Senate represent a significant disconnect with the priorities of Americans. They could add significant – and perhaps debilitating – expense to our already fragile economy and they would be an invitation to special interest protectionism. It is also becoming more apparent that cap and trade schemes are not meeting their designed goals. The New York Times reported on May 24 that, “Carbon trading was meant to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the European Union by making polluting more expensive for heavy industries, encouraging them to invest in cleaner technology. But even supporters admit that the system, also known as cap and trade, is falling far short of that goal. Critics decry it as just another form of financial profiteering with little environmental benefit.”

Energy is a vitally strategic national security issue for our country.  The real cost of petroleum includes the use of our military to defend shipping lanes and maintain geopolitical stability in oil producing regions. More troubling, four-fifths of the world’s oil reserves are controlled by government-owned oil companies, and many of these regimes do not wish us well or have shown some proclivity to use oil as a weapon of foreign policy.

It is time to recast the debate in Congress and match priorities with a practical alternative.

By placing carbon reductions ahead of solving energy vulnerabilities, the cap and trade bills situate the energy debate on the most controversial and unsustainable political ground.  Energy policy would benefit greatly from something close to a political consensus.  The most contradictory outcome would be the imposition of an expensive cap and trade plan by a narrow political margin at a time when the added expense could intensify economic pressures in the United States, thus undercutting the appetite of Americans for any efforts toward carbon reductions.

Moreover, if we experience intense shocks to the American way of life stemming from peak oil scenarios, politically motivated embargos, wars, or natural disasters, all bets are off for policies directed at mitigating climate change.  If the American public and economy are rendered immobile by a sustained oil shock, it is almost inconceivable that they would tolerate government imposed sacrifices focused on climate change that add to their burdens and slow the economy further.  In this context, breaking our oil dependence, with all the national security, economic, and environmental benefits that would come with such a victory, must be our top energy priority.

Today I am introducing legislation that would:

  • Reduce our foreign oil dependency;
  • Save Americans money on their energy bills;
  • Improve our industrial competitiveness;
  • Invest in cleaner and more diverse energy choices; and
  • Better use our domestic fossil fuel resources.

 

This legislation reflects both Republican and Democratic proposals.

The plan would generate the following savings by 2030:

  • Cut foreign oil dependence by more than 40 percent;
  • Decrease national energy consumption by 11 percent;
  • Reduce average household electric bills by 15 percent; and
  • Cut greenhouse gas emissions by more than 20 percent, or about 1.6 billion metric tons – the equivalent of taking more than 240 million cars off our highways.

 

This practical energy and climate approach prioritizes the cheapest and easiest energy savings: to achieve efficiencies in our buildings, appliances and industrial processes.

In short, it fixes the major leaks in our energy system.

The bill accelerates electric power diversification, spurring the use of secure domestic resources and environmentally responsible generation. Most important, it targets our dangerous oil addiction by maximizing fuel savings in transportation and increasing domestic production of fossil and bio-based fuels.

The plan allows a flexible and predictable framework for use of energy sources and technologies. There is no bidding process among states, regions, political alliances, industries and special interests. It would accomplish nearly half the president’s 2020 greenhouse gas emissions goal — while saving money and boosting the economy. If there were a future decision to price carbon with a capping or taxing mechanism, the reduction goals would be substantially easier to attain.

A detailed outline of the plan has been on my website since March and can be found at: http://lugar.senate.gov/energy.  

Energy and climate legislation must reflect the economic realities facing Americans today. Like much of America, almost 10 percent of Hoosiers are unemployed. Many more are underemployed and living paycheck-to-paycheck.

We need policies that help Americans ease their financial burdens and encourage markets with job-creating opportunities.

This plan satisfies the concerns of two-thirds of Americans who say we should be addressing our energy needs now.

The $3.75 billion over five year net cost of the bill is more than justifiable. Without aggressive action to decrease our long-term energy dependency on foreign sources, we are risking economic and security disasters, as well as even more severe trade imbalances and costs for consumers. In 2008 our trade deficit was $840 billion, about half that, $439 billion, was for oil imports. That was nearly twice the $227 billion trade debt we ran up with goods we purchased from China. This bill would be a small price to pay for cutting this transfer of wealth away from our shores.

Finally this approach saves people money. It doesn’t threaten jobs and will create new ones. And it stimulates economic growth, answering the primary concern of Americans.

###

Here is an excerpt from the bill:

SEC. 610. FEDERAL DIVERSE ENERGY STANDARD

DIVERSE ENERGY REQUIREMENT.—

 (1) REQUIREMENT.—

 (A) IN GENERAL.—Subject to subpara graph (B), each electric utility that sells electricity to electric consumers for a purpose other than resale shall obtain a percentage of the base quantity of electricity the electric utility sells to electric consumers in any calendar year from diverse energy.

 (B) PERCENTAGE.—Except as provided in section 611, the percentage obtained in a calendar year under subparagraph (A) shall not be less than the amount specified in the following table:

Calendar year: Minimum annual percentage:

2015 through 2019 ………………………………………… 15

2020 through 2024 ………………………………………… 20

2025 through 2029 ………………………………………… 25

2030 through 2049 ………………………………………… 30

2050 …………………………………………………………….50

(4) DIVERSE ENERGY.—The term ‘diverse energy’ means electric energy generated at a facility (including a distributed generation facility) from—

(A) advanced coal generation;

(B) biomass;

(C) coal mine methane;

(D) end-user efficiency savings;

(E) efficiency savings in power generation;

(F) geothermal energy;

(G) landfill and biogas;

(H) marine and hydrokinetic renewable energy (as defined in section 632 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (42 U.S.C. 17211));

(I) qualified hydropower;

(J) qualified nuclear energy;

(K) solar energy;

(L) waste-to-energy;

(M) wind energy; and

(N) any other energy source that will result in at least a 80-percent reduction in green house gas emissions compared to average emissions of freely emitting sources in the calendar year prior to certification of the Secretary, as determined by the Secretary through rulemaking.