Tuesday, July 2, 2013
Crisis temporarily averted: U.S. pushes ahead with green energy
Last week, the Wall Street Journal predicted that United States legislatures were considering making cut backs to green energy programs amidst budget concerns. Votes were up in 29 states, including Washington, D.C., and represented a potentially devastating blow to the environmental movement. According to some, government investment in energy alternatives like solar and wind violate free-trade democracy.
Luckily for the rest of the world however, most of those votes have fallen short. "ALEC’s (the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council) attempt to squash clean energy standards in the states has failed," said Gabe Elsner, director of the Checks and Balances Project, an advocacy group that helps hold government officials, lobbyists, and corporations accountable to the public. "I thought they would have had more success."
After the 2012 election, ALEC teamed up with well-known libertarian groups in an effort to derail the transition to green energy. But this year, not a single state repealed its renewable energy requirements or pollution standards. In fact, some states have bolstered them!
Colorado, for example, more than doubled its mandate for energy sales, requiring 20% to come by way of renewable resources by the end of the decade. In Minnesota, utility companies now must generate 1.5% of their electricity from solar. (And that’s in addition to the 25% renewable energy production they hope to achieve by 2025.)
Chelsea Barnes of Keyes, Fox & Wiedman, a law firm that tracks energy legislation, isn’t so surprise that the voting went the way it did. "We started seeing more of these stories on this coordinated attack on renewables," she said. But the anxiety was "more of a media issue than an actual industry issue."
[ nrglab, nrglab pte ltd, nrglab singapore, nrglab сингапур, ana shell, annie j, green energy, American Legislative Exchange Council, Chelsea Barnes of Keyes, Fox, Wiedman, ALEC, Gabe Elsner, Checks and Balances Project ]