New Mexico Sen. Tom Udall.
New Mexico Sen. Tom Udall. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Anthony DeYoung).

A bill making its way through Congress would require all 50 states to transition to 100% renewable electricity by 2050.

The bill is called the Renewable Electricity Act of 2019. In addition to the 2050 goal, it also includes an intermediary requirement that states transition to 50% renewable electricity by 2035.

New Mexico Sen. Tom Udall, a Democrat,  is one of the authors of the bill. In a statement he gave late last month, Udall said the environment faces an “existential threat” from climate change.

“The Trump administration and the majority in the Senate have turned their backs on Americans and many in New Mexico who are right in the bull’s eye of climate change,” Udall said. “As states step up with legislation to increase the use of renewable energy, the entire country needs to follow suit – or it will soon be too late.

“America can no longer afford inaction on climate change,” he added. “ That is why I am proud to introduce legislation that meets this challenge and demonstrates that America is still a leader in renewable energy.”

The act’s emergence coincides with national-level, climate-change propositions like the Green New Deal.

Act Would Call for Renewables Increase Proportionate to Retail Sales Increase

Among the various measures and requirements included in the act is a floor-setting provision.

It would require retail electricity providers to increase their supply of renewable energy “by a percentage of total retail sales each year.”

Also, it calls for a renewable electricity credit to be given for every kilowatt hour of electricity generated by a renewable resource. Standards are strict, though. The act noted that, “while some exceptions apply, most existing renewable electricity generation is not eligible for federal RECs.”

The act defines “renewable energy” as:

  • Solar
  • Wind
  • Ocean
  • Tidal
  • Geothermal
  • Biomass
  • Landfill gas
  • Incremental hydropower
  • Hydrokinetic energy.

More than 40 national- and state-level organizations support the act, including the American Council on Renewable Energy, the American Wind Energy Association, the Sierra Club and the National Wildlife Federation.

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