Is RFP DOA? That Would Be OK

By December 3, 2007Energy

RFP being the Renewable Fuels Portfolio, the proposed nationwide requirement in the energy bill that 15 percent of electricity generated by private utilities — not the rural co-ops or municipals, of course — come from renewable sources, solar, biomass, wave power, geothermal or birds flapping in unison.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute produced a very good paper on the foolishness of a national RFP mandate in June, “Gone with the Wind.” (Download it here.) Until and if the technology improves, wind generation is the only economically feasible source of significant amounts of electrical power, and yet some places are not that windy. The entire Southeast for example. So an RFP will just make power more expensive in vast portions of the country.

Anyway, David Freddoso reports the RFP may be gone:

Democrats may still add the Renewable Portfolio Standard back into the energy bill, but it is not there in the version currently circulating on the Hill, fresh from legislative counsel. A Republican source says that omission of RPS would be evidence that the Democrats actually want to pass the bill. If Pelosi adds it back in the Rules Committee, then we’re back to where we started.

The current version omits the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), the requirement that utilities produce a certain amount of their power from wind, biomass, solar, and other “renewable” sources (this does not include hydroelectric or nuclear power, the viable forms of emissions-free power). Its apparent omission is a pretty big deal. It could still be reversed, but it’s not likely from a procedural perspective. Environmentalists will be very upset if it is not included.

Would the omission of RPS be enough to get the bill passed into law? President Bush is probably not going to sign it anyway.

But this is from Speaker Pelosi’s statement on Friday.

“This comprehensive package will also include an increase in the Renewable Fuels Standard and a Renewable Electricity Standard, among other key provisions.”

We should have this figured out by the a.m. If the birds stop all that flapping noise, that is.

Leave a Reply