Markey Also Introduces Energy-Saving National Efficiency Plan

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a bi-partisan effort to create jobs and re-power the American energy sector, Reps. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Todd Platts (R-Pa.) today introduced a renewable electricity standard that would ensure that America is generating a quarter of its electricity from clean energy sources by 2025. To compliment this expansion of clean energy with effective energy efficiency measures, Rep. Markey also introduced an energy efficiency standard that will cost-effectively cut electricity demand. The two measures will create more than a half million jobs and will save consumers more than $180 billion.

"With our economy in crisis, renewable energy can create hundreds of thousands of new green jobs, revitalize declining manufacturing sectors, and decrease global warming pollution," said Rep. Markey, who chairs key energy panels in the House. "If we follow an ambitious clean energy path, American families will save money, construction and manufacturing workers will be back on the job, and our environment will be safer for generations to come. Massachusetts and more than half of the country already have renewable energy standards, and so should our entire nation."

"This legislation takes a significant step - similar to what is already taking place in many states, including my home state of Pennsylvania - to help ensure America reduces its dependency on foreign oil and creates a more stable energy supply for our nation," said Rep. Platts. "Establishing a federal Renewable Electricity Standard will help to protect our environment as well as promote economic development and energy security."

Reps. Markey and Platts joined together to pass the 35 mile per gallon fuel economy standard in the previous Congress.

The American Renewable Energy Act:

The American Renewable Energy Act creates a national renewable electricity standard (RES) that calls for generating 25 percent of electricity from renewable sources like wind, solar and geothermal by 2025. While the American Renewable Energy Act creates manufacturing jobs, it will also save families and business money on electricity bills while dramatically reducing our nation's global warming pollution. Twenty-seven states and the District of Columbia have passed renewable electricity requirements, and a national standard will further unleash technology innovation and put Americans back to work, creating more than 350,000 green jobs over the next decade. During the last Congress, the House repeatedly passes RES legislation with bipartisan support, and a recent Washington Post/ABC News poll said that 84 percent of Americans support requiring utilities to increase their use of renewable energy.

The American Renewable Energy Act embodies President Obama's goal of ensuring that 25 percent of our electricity come from renewable sources by 2025.

The Save American Energy Act:

In addition to the American Renewable Energy Act, Rep. Markey also introduced an energy efficiency resource standard, which sets a clear goal for reducing electricity demand.

"Energy efficiency is all about working smarter, not harder," said Rep. Markey, who authored previous key energy efficiency measures like the 1987 Appliance Efficiency Act. "This legislation has the effect of producing more energy without ever having to build a power plant. It is the most cost-effective, money-saving measure for consumers and utilities."

The Save American Energy Act will obtain significant cost savings by instituting an energy efficiency resource standard that reduces electricity demand by fifteen percent by 2020. Efficiency measures are not only the fastest, cheapest and cleanest source of energy, they will also lead to $130 billion in consumer savings over the next 20 years. Efficiency measures in the Save American Energy Act will lead to the creation of 260,000 new jobs, putting people to work in retrofitting buildings and weatherizing homes. As efficiency measures decrease energy consumption, The Save American Energy Act will reduce peak electricity demand by 90,000 megawatts by 2020, eliminating the need to build 300 medium-size power plants.

President Obama has stated a goal of reducing electricity use 15 percent by 2020, which this legislation would achieve.

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February 4, 2009


CONTACT: Eben Burnham-Snyder, Chairman Markey, 202-225-4081

Robert Reilly, Rep. Todd Platts, 717-600-1919