Consumer Energy Report is now Energy Trends Insider -- Read More »

By Lloyd McGraw on Mar 16, 2010 with 4 responses

Governors Join Hands Urging Washington to Push Wind

Chet Culver, Chairman of the Governors Wind energy Coalition is leading the charge to push Congress towards minimum wind energy requirements.

An assembly of 29 governors is urging Washington to enact Federal legislation that would mandate electric companies to obtain a minimum of 10 percent of the power they provide through renewable energy within two years.  The proposal, allegedly designed to stimulate job creation as well as climate reform, was presented today by letters to the White House and to Congress from the Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition.

“Right now, this is about jobs,” said Rhode Island Gov. Donald Carcieri (R).

“We don’t want these things to get caught up in the broader debate and discussion [i.e. global warming] that will only slow us down,” added Iowa Gov. Chet Culver (D), chairman of the bipartisan Coalition, which includes the governors of 29 states.

With national attention focused on health reform proposals, the group is concerned that the Federal government has become sidetracked from the agenda of getting Americans back to work.

“Congressional action on the energy bill seems to have stalled,” said Carcieri in a statement. “It is our hope that these recommendations — and the national bipartisan consensus they represent — will advance the energy deliberations now under way in Congress.”

Other recommendations by the governors include:

  • Developing new interstate electric transmission system infrastructure to facilitate access to these resources nationwide.
  • Greater federal support for coastal and off-shore wind farms; and
  • Extending the Treasury Department’s financing program that offers cash up front instead of the Investment Tax Credit, as well as a renewable energy production tax credit.

Senator Chuck Grassley, Iowa (R), thinks the Governors' joint proposal sets unrealistic objectives.

“People want more renewable energy. Congress can’t ask for a clearer signal for what works politically than what’s working at the state level.” says Reid Detchon, executive director of the Energy Future Coalition, told the Christian Science Monitor.  ”These governors coming forward like this is just one more indicator of public sentiment in favor of stronger requirements for renewable energy.”

Congress does not unanimously subscribe to the notion that the Coalition’s mandate presents realistic objectives. Indeed, Culver has not convinced his own State’s senior senator that the mandate can be reached by 2012.

While Iowan Senator Chuck Grassley (R) claims to have supported renewable energy portfolios in the past, he believes the Coalition has bitten off more than can be chewed.  “Probably not ten-percent by 2012,” Grassley says, “I don’t think that that’s possible but I surely think 15% by 2020 is possible.”

  1. By russ on April 3, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    Proper conditions for clean energy?
    1) Fantastic feed in rates in some locations such as CA
    2) Subsidies and incentives that the country really can’t afford for solar, wind, ethanol

    What more can anyone ask for?

    When a clean energy source comes along that can hold it’s own and provide more than intermittent power it will certainly be accepted.

  2. By Kit P on April 3, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    This is called grandstanding.


    Nothing prevents states from passing a
    RPS. Many states have very good programs, Texas for example. Other
    states like California have programs that are not based on reality.


    A 2-5% mandate is sufficient to promote
    local jobs and industry with out driving up the overall cost of


    ““Right now, this is
    about jobs,” said Rhode Island Gov. Donald Carcieri (R).”


    Rhode Island PUC
    just nixed a large offshore wind project power purchase agreement for


    Nothing says you are ‘green’ better
    than buying a few MWh of $240/MWh solar generated electricity.
    Millions can be spent on fuel to get to the ribbon cutting. Spending
    an extra hundred million a year might get noticed in a small state
    like Rhode Island.

  3. By moiety on April 6, 2010 at 3:18 am



    Possibility of merging this and




  4. By CEA on March 17, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    The government needs to take the necessary steps to ensure that the proper conditions are set to support clean energy development. What America needs now more than ever is a standardized, long-term commitment to developing a diverse energy portfolio. Want to learn more about balanced energy for America? Visit to get involved, discover CEA’s mission and sign up for our informative newsletter.

Register or log in now to save your comments and get priority moderation!