Twenty-three Governors Including Ky. Gov. Beshear Call for a Renewable Energy Standard

Posted by Martin Richards on KFTC's blog on 9/14/10:

A bipartisan group of governors representing citizens across the nation, The Governors' Wind Energy Coalition, convened to address some of America’s most pressing needs — job creation, secure energy supplies and cost-effective carbon emissions reductions.

In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and the chair and ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, the bipartisan group of governors wrote, "A strong RES is the most economically efficient way to advance clean energy and immediately create jobs in renewable energy manufacturing; construction of new project and associated transmission, and ongoing operation and maintenance of these facilities."

In a companion article posted to POLITICO, Gov. Chet Culver of Iowa and Gov. Don Carcieri of Rhode Island representing the group stated, "While other countries race ahead, U.S. energy policy has left Americans exposed to volatile prices and limited clean options. Europe, China, India and other countries are far ahead of the United States in terms of capturing the economic benefits of wind and other renewables — despite the fact that America has some of the world’s richest wind resources. The reason is simple: We lack a strategic, long-term policy with a bold yet practical RES requirement as its centerpiece." They cited a recent study by Duke University and Georgia Tech that says that strong national RES would increase wind power in the South by 474 percent.

Earlier this year, a USA today article highlighted a study Navigant did for the RES Alliance for Jobs that said that the number of clean-energy jobs in the U.S. would more than double by 2025 if the nation adopts a plan to get 25% of its electricity from renewable energy sources. On the flip side, many states will lose clean-energy jobs if no national standard is passed, Navigant says. Texas, for one, could lose more than 2,500 jobs given its already big presence in wind and expiring tax credits for wind projects. "Without a strong national standard, Don Furman, senior vice president of Iberdrola Renewables says, "the U.S. wind industry could even lose jobs, especially to China." .

The Huffington Post reports, China has a million people working in its clean energy industry. It makes half the world's wind turbines, supplies half the world's hydropower projects and fabricates three-quarters of the world's compact fluorescent light bulbs. Last year, China became the No. 1 maker of wind turbine equipment. It's also the No. 1 maker of solar cells for solar panels.