United States

United States

RES 'could still appear in US energy bill'

US - The Senate energy bill could include a renewable electricity standard (RES) after all, majority leader Harry Reid has told reporters.

The US senate could still consider a national RES as part of energy bill
The US senate could still consider a national RES as part of energy bill

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Reid told a press teleconference that an RES is "absolutely" still being considered for inclusion in the energy bill, The Hill reports.

A national RES would require utilities to derive a certain percentage of their energy from clean sources.

Reid had said in July that an RES is no longer a priority and that Senate Democrats would instead focus on passing more narrow energy legislation, covering energy efficiency and a response to the BP oil spill.

He had blamed Republican opposition for the demise of comprehensive energy legislation, saying "we don’t have a single Republican to work with in achieving this goal."

But Reid now says he plans to speak to two Republicans who have expressed an interest in an RES. He did not name them, but both The Hill and Politico mooted the name of Kansas’s Sam Brownback, who has publicly supported an RES.

Reid said that passing energy legislation could be easier after this November’s congressional elections.

But he did not say how many Republicans or Democrats could be lost by adding the RES to the legislation, Reuters noted.

And Reid said that it does not appear that a cap-and-trade system can be added back into the bill, the reports said.

American Wind Energy Association chief executive Denise Bode said: "Today’s statement by Senator Reid that he sees more bipartisan support for a renewable electricity standard is a sure sign energy legislation is still very much in play."

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