"THE INFLUENCE GAME: Renewable Energy Goal Stalls"

"A powerful lobbying coalition is campaigning to require more electricity to come from renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and geothermal. But the effort hasn't gotten any traction in the Senate this year, despite the push by environmental groups, renewable energy providers, more than half the nation's governors and even some utilities.

When he unveiled a scaled-down energy bill this summer, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid  left out the renewable electricity mandate, which would require utilities to produce a certain percentage of their energy from renewable sources. Reid, D-Nev., said that although he supports the idea, he didn't have the votes needed for passage.

The lack of progress shows the limits of even a well-funded, sophisticated, all-out lobbying campaign, especially in the Senate, which requires a supermajority of 60 votes out of 100 for most legislation. In this case, election-year politics and opposition from some utilities, particularly in the Southeast, have helped stall the renewable energy initiative. And a soon-to-expire legislative calendar makes the picture even bleaker."

Frederic J. Frommer reports for the Associated Press September 16, 2010.
 

Friday, September 17, 2010