A US Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee approved a comprehensive energy package that includes a requirement for utilities to generate 15% of electricity from renewable sources such as solar and wind power by 2021. But because the bill also contains concessions for drilling off of Florida’s gulf coast, it is likely to face quite a battle on the larger Senate floor, where several lawmakers pledged to seek major changes.
During his presidential campaign, U.S. President Barack Obama set a goal to generate 25% of power from renewable energy by 2025. The energy bill is far less aggressive and directs power plants to produce 3% of their output from renewables between 2011 and 2013 and then increasing the amount to 15% between 2021 and 2039. Feelings on this measure are mixed to say the least: some lawmakers have attacked the panel’s renewable power mandate as too lenient, while others claim its measures will hurt states without much solar or wind resources.