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Welch, Clarke Introduce National Renewable Energy and Efficiency Standard Legislation

December 18, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) and Rep. Yvette D. Clarke (D-N.Y.) today introduced legislation creating a national renewable energy and energy efficiency standard that aims to reduce carbon emissions and drive the deployment of clean energy resources around the country.

As Members of the powerful Energy and Commerce Committee, which oversees energy and environment policy, Welch and Clarke will be pushing for this legislation to be a central component of any climate legislation in the upcoming Congress.

“We are in a climate emergency, yet the United States is lagging behind on energy efficiency and renewable energy resources. These resources will be critical to facing this crisis head on guaranteeing the next generation sustainable energy production,” Welch said. “This legislation charts a new energy future where energy efficiency and renewable technologies are put to work creating jobs, saving money and combating the climate crisis.”

“I’m proud to be co-leading this critically important legislation with Congressman Welch that sets nation-wide mandates for renewable energy deployment and energy-efficiency measures,” Clarke said. “It’s past time for the federal government to step up and lead the nation in the fight against climate change, and that is exactly what our legislation sets out to do by setting clear and aggressive renewable energy targets as we move towards a zero-emission electricity sector. In addition to tackling the climate crisis, our legislation will also trigger much needed investments in clean energy jobs and infrastructure, particularly in disadvantaged communities and areas that are transitioning away from dirty sources of energy.”

The American Renewable Energy and Efficiency Act would require electric utilities, by 2030, to obtain at least 55 percent of their electricity supply from renewable sources, achieve a 22 percent reduction in electricity use and a 14 percent reduction in natural gas use by 2035.   

Supporters of the legislation include American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), E4TheFuture, Building Performance Association, Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI), and the U.S. Green Buildings Council (USGBC).

A technical factsheet on the bill is here.

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Update 6/28/2021: You can find the 2021 version of the American Renewable Act here