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Welcoming Clinton's initiative

Although a large body of utility opinion is against the Clinton administration's proposed program for boosting wind's share of the national power supply to 5% by 2020, the Alliance for Affordable Electricity (AAE), a coalition of pro-competitive interests spearheaded by Enron Corp, owner of Enron Wind, welcomes it. "The administration's comprehensive legislative package is a great starting point for beginning this year's discussion on how to bring customer choice to all Americans," says the AAE's Bill Paxon. "This is doable this Congress," he adds. "Working together with stakeholders, Democrats, Republicans and the states, a comprehensive bill can be enacted that benefits all consumers." The group, of which the American Wind Energy Association is a member, is headed by influential former senator, J Bennett Johnson. Not surprisingly, the proposal is dividing the green community. Some environmentalists praise the bill as a good first step to a cleaner energy mix, while others say the bill does not go far enough in encouraging use of renewables. "The administration is missing a key opportunity to slash global warming pollution and to show leadership on this critical environmental threat," says the Sierra Club. The Union of Concerned Scientists, which has worked long and hard on the issue of a minimum standard of renewables power in the supply mix, also thinks the administration should have gone further. "While it is a step in the right direction, the administration's bill just won't get the job done," says Alden Meyer, a UCS director.

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