Press Release of Senator Markey
First Markey Senate Bill Creates Jobs, Quadruples America’s Clean Electricity Production
Thursday, October 31, 2013
Contact: Giselle Barry (Markey) 202-224-2742
Eben Burnham-Snyder (Markey) 202-224-2742
New legislation would create 400,000 jobs, save $90 billion for households by 2030
Washington (October 31, 2013) – Overwhelming majorities of Americans from both parties and from across regions of the country are calling for our electricity sector to be powered by more clean energy. Today, Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) introduced The American Renewable Energy and Efficiency Act, legislation that would harness clean energy and provide huge benefits to consumers, create jobs, and reduce global warming pollution. It would require electric utilities to obtain a minimum of 25 percent of their electricity from renewable sources like wind, solar, hydro, geothermal, biomass, and other renewable energy sources by 2025. The legislation also requires electric and natural gas utilities to implement energy efficiency programs that would save the equivalent of 15 percent and ten percent of sales, respectively, by 2025.
“There is no trick and all treat to harnessing clean energy to create jobs and fuel our economy in the 21st century,” said Senator Markey. “Clean energy and gains in energy efficiency have been very bright spots for the national and Massachusetts economy. The American Renewable Energy and Efficiency Act would quadruple renewable energy production in the United States. It would create more than 400,000 jobs. We can put steelworkers and ironworkers and electricians back to work building the new energy backbone for America, from Massachusetts to Montana.”
Thirty U.S. states and the District of Columbia already have mandatory renewable electricity targets and 24 states have energy efficiency requirements. The American Renewable Energy and Efficiency Act would complement these existing state programs and ensure that the United States is not left behind by the 118 other nations that already have clean energy targets in place.
Analysis of the American Renewable Energy and Efficiency Act and similar previously-introduced legislation found that, if enacted, the legislation would:
· Create more than 400,000 jobs.
· Lead to energy efficiency improvements that will save the average American household $39 annually. Cumulative consumer savings through 2030 would be nearly $90 billion.
· Spur more than $200 billion in new capital investments in renewable energy technology, leading to nearly a quadrupling of renewable electricity production by 2025.
· Reduce CO2 emissions by 480 million metric tons annually by 2025, the equivalent output of 120 coal-fired power plants.
Nearly half of all electrical capacity installed worldwide last year was renewable energy. Solar panel prices have declined by 75 percent over the last three years, and wind power has become cheaper than conventional energy from the grid in New England and many other parts of the United States. Clean energy companies are expected to generate nearly $2 trillion in revenues globally between 2012 and 2018. The American Renewable Energy and Efficiency Act would ensure that the United States is at the forefront of this economic boom and that American consumers enjoy the benefits.
“It’s past time to scale up our clean energy deployment and innovation,” continued Senator Markey. “Let’s get American workers building and exporting wind turbines and solar panels that say ‘Made In America’ instead of the American economy importing millions of barrels of oil a day that say ‘Made by OPEC.’ My legislation will put America into a new economic orbit, looking down on our competitors. I look forward to working on a bipartisan basis with my Senate colleague to pass this important legislation.”
Peter Rothstein, President, New England Clean Energy Council
“The New England Clean Energy Council endorses this important piece of legislation that will further advance New England’s clean energy economy. This legislation also incorporates proven state models from Massachusetts, New England and from across the country that have been shown to create jobs and foster sustainable economic development. We applaud Senator Markey for his leadership in this effort to create a more sustainable and secure energy future.”
Paul Gaynor, CEO, First Wind
“Because of the renewable energy standards in states like Massachusetts, this year alone First Wind will invest hundreds of millions of dollars in local economies, creating good jobs, largely in rural areas. If these standards were extended nationally, investment in American-made clean energy would spread across the nation, growing the US economy and lowering customers’ electricity bills at the same time.”
Nancy Pfund, Managing Partner of investment firm DBL Investors and a member of Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) said:
“What Sen. Markey’s legislation does is establish a predictable market for renewable energy and energy efficiency. And with predictable markets, capital investment flows, innovation grows and jobs get created. While many states have instituted their own renewable portfolio standards, the absence of a national standard in the United States has hampered the emergence of a national market and resulted in many renewable investments flowing to other countries. Sen. Markey’s bill would help bring those capital investments and the jobs that come with them back home. This is something that investors, companies – and our economy – emphatically need.”
Franz A. Matzner, Associate Director of Government Affairs, Natural Resources Defense Council
“This is the renewable energy legislation we need. It also is a wake-up call to those who want to deny science and stall progress: As a nation, it’s time to break our addiction to fossil fuels and invest in a cleaner, healthier future for our children. Coupled with President Obama’s climate change initiative, this legislation can takes us one step closer to meeting the moral obligation we have to our children to cut pollution, tackle climate change and develop more sources of clean, renewable energy – and the jobs that come with it.”
Senator Markey’s legislation is endorsed by the American Wind Energy Association, National Hydropower Association, Solar Energy Industry Association, American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, TechNet, New England Clean Energy Council, Natural Resources Defense Council, Union of Concerned Scientists, League of Conservation Voters, The Pew Charitable Trusts, Environment America, Sierra Club, The Wilderness Society, First Wind, Ameresco, National Wildlife Federation, Conservation Law Foundation.