CORRECTED - US renewable energy bill faces battle in 2010

Tue Sep 21, 2010 10:21pm GMT

The measure "will help protect and create hundreds of thousands of good-paying jobs and keep America in the clean energy race," said Leo Gerard, president of the United Steelworkers union.

"With a national RES in place, we'll invest billions of additional dollars in renewables and create tens of thousands of jobs," said Lew Hay, the chairman and chef executive of NextEra Energy Inc (NEE.N: Quote). "Without an RES, that won't happen."


But analysts said the bill had little chance of passing this year in part because the senate failed to pass the bigger climate bill.

"Chairman Bingaman may be setting the stage for the clean and green legislative agenda in 2011, but we give near zero odds for 2010 passage," of the bill this year, said Kevin Book, an analyst at ClearView Energy Partners, LLC.

He said the collapse of cap-and-trade legislation meant the end of allowances that would have been given away to help state governments pay for high-cost green sources and efficiency retrofits.

Whitney Stanco, an analyst at Concept Capital's Washington Research Group, said the bill had about a 25 percent chance of enactment this year, as the legislative calendar is filled with other big items such as a deal on tax extenders and a defense authorization bill.

Bruce Josten, top lobbyist at the Chamber of Commerce, told the Reuters Washington Summit on Tuesday that such a measure could pass next year if it had provisions that protect power bills from rising and give breaks to states lacking bountiful wind and solar resources.

The bill introduced Tuesday would set incremental mandates requiring power companies to generate 3 percent of their power from renewable sources such as wind, solar, ocean waves, and geothermal by 2012.   Continued...

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