Renewable Energy Markets Association Applauds Recognition of Voluntary Purchases of Renewable Energy in American Power Act
May 12, 2010
WASHINGTON, DC- The Renewable Energy Markets Association (REMA) applauds Senators Kerry and Lieberman for their leadership in addressing climate change through the American Power Act. Domestic production of renewable energy can create jobs, strengthen America's energy independence, safeguard our national security, and restore America's global economic leadership for decades to come, and this legislation demonstrates an honorable effort to address these important issues while also mitigating the harmful effects of climate change.
More than a million businesses, households, government agencies, farms, and others voluntarily purchase renewable electricity or renewable energy certificates, and the voluntary renewable energy market is responsible for a significant portion of all renewable energy in the United States. The Renewable Energy Markets Association applauds the Senators for recognizing and confirming the important role of the voluntary renewable energy market in reaching U.S. energy and climate goals in their legislation.
"In the absence of a cap on greenhouse gases, voluntary purchases of renewable energy almost always displace fossil fuel-based electricity and the associated emissions," said Rob Harmon, Senior Vice President of the Bonneville Environmental Foundation and REMA Federal Policy Committee Chairman. "A cap-and-trade program can inadvertently stifle the voluntary market if it does not include provisions to preserve the environmental benefits of customer purchases."
The American Power Act would establish limits on greenhouse gas emissions, requiring emitters to obtain allowances from a limited pool to cover their carbon emissions, and recognizes the importance of the voluntary renewable energy market. However, there is currently no provision in the bill that ensures that when individuals or companies voluntarily purchase renewable energy that there is a corresponding reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
There are several simple ways to ensure that climate legislation protects the voluntary market. More information on these strategies are available on the REMA website: www.renewablemarketers.org/legislative/climatepolicy.asp.
"By opting for renewable energy over fossil-based sources, customers currently have the power to reduce their carbon footprint and overall impact on the environment," said Jay Carlis, President of the Renewable Energy Markets Association. "We look forward to continuing to work with Senators Kerry and Lieberman to ensure that this bill preserves the ability of individuals, companies, and government agencies to make meaningful choices about their electricity supply."