Congress is currently seriously considering a federal renewable electricity standard (RES). Several bills have been proposed with varying standards in both the Senate and the House. One version was recently introduced by the House Energy and Commerce committee as part of the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (ACES). This bill also includes provisions for climate change mitigation, energy efficiency, and green jobs.

The Union of Concerned Scientists reported that if passed, a National Renewable Electricity Standard would generate 297,000 new domestic jobs, lower electricity and natural gas bills for consumers by $64.3 billion, and produce $13.5 billion in new income for landowners leasing their land for renewable energy development.

A federal RES would also help stabilize volatile fuel prices, reduce carbon dioxide emissions, facilitate the process of renewable energy development, and make progress on Obama’s goal of doubling the amount of American renewable energy generation in the next three years.

A federal RES has widespread support according to a national poll released May 5th by AWEA. The poll reveals that 75% of American voters support enacting a National Renewable Electricity Standard. The widespread support spans across political divides with 86% of Democrats, 71% of Independents, and 62% of Republicans backing the passage of RES legislation. “The American people support an RES because it will create jobs and reduce carbon emissions. Our job now is to make sure that Members of Congress follow their constituents,” said AWEA CEO Denise Bode.