January 22, 2015

Udall Amendment to Keystone Pipeline Bill Emphasizes Homegrown Renewable Energy, would Create Thousands of Clean Energy Jobs

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall announced that he has introduced an amendment to the Keystone XL Pipeline bill to establish a national Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) that would create over a quarter of a million jobs, reduce pollution and save consumers billions of dollars. The legislation, which would help the United States become energy independent while establishing our leadership in clean energy production, would require utilities to generate 25 percent of their electricity from wind, solar and other renewable energy sources by 2025. It would also help prevent utility rates from rising and boost private investments in state economies.

Udall has introduced and championed legislation to establish a national RES each Congress since his election to the Senate in 2008. His proposal is based on a bipartisan initiative he introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2002, which eventually passed the House in 2007. The legislation outlines gradual annual increases to the percentage of energy retail electric suppliers would be required to generate from renewable sources to meet the 25 percent goal in 2025. Udall's amendment is cosponsored by U.S. Senators Edward Markey (D-Mass), Michael Bennet (D-CO), and Ben Cardin (D-Md).

"The Keystone Pipeline is an investment in doing things the old way - importing foreign oil. Instead of doubling down on foreign oil, we should be talking about how we can move America forward by investing in the homegrown energy of the future. We have the technology and the resources to lead the world in clean energy production and jobs and fight climate change, but our energy policy needs to catch up with the times before China and Germany dominate the market," Udall said. "That's why I'm introducing my amendment to set a national Renewable Electricity Standard. New Mexico and over half the states have wildly successful RES policies already, and a national RES would combat global warming while creating hundreds of thousands of jobs across the country. I've long said we need a 'do it all, do it right' energy policy, and a RES will help maximize our energy potential while strengthening our economy and our energy security."

While over half of the states already have renewable generation standards with specific timelines and target standards, Udall's legislation would not preempt stronger standards already implemented by states.

Studies have shown that a "25-by-2025" RES would:
- Create 274,000 to 297,000 jobs in the U.S. in areas such as construction, operations and engineering. More than half of these jobs would be created in the manufacturing sector.
- Save consumers $64.3 billion in utility bills.
- Produce $263.4 billion in new capital investment.
- Provide $13.5 billion to farmers, ranchers and other landowners in the form of lease payments, which would help to create new economic activity in rural communities across the U.S.
- Boost local tax revenues by $11.5 billion, which would help to improve the lives of residents and revitalize communities.