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First Federal Renewable Energy Standard in U.S. History

Rocky Mountain Farmers Union congratulated Rep. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) and Rep. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) today on the victory of the Renewable Energy Standard (HR 3221). With bipartisan support, including Todd Platts (R-Penn.), the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus in the House succeeded in passing the first federal renewable energy standard in U.S. history.
The complete energy package in HR 3221 extends the production tax credit and tax incentives for ethanol support. It also creates production credits for cellulosic ethanol. Additional provisions continue the biodiesel fuel program and offer loans for biodiesel production; fund studies on the feasibility of building an ethanol pipeline, the feasibility of ethanol blends above 10 percent, and use of railroad transportation to deliver renewable fuels; and, offer grants for developing cellulosic ethanol.
“The national Renewable Electricity Standard will provide the energy for continued growth and economic benefits to rural America,” stated Kent Peppler, President, Rocky Mountain Farmers Union and farmer from Mead, Colo. “Producing 15 percent of investor-owned electricity with renewable energy sources benefits all Americans, from investors in electric utilities to rural American energy producers and all consumers of electricity.” The legislation mandates inclusion of renewable energy in retail energy suppliers’ portfolios, with a goal of 15 percent by 2020. Suppliers can meet these requirements by purchasing renewable energy credits from other entities, and they can bank credits for up to four years. Municipal and other publicly owned power plants and rural electric co-ops are exempt from the requirements.