June 15, 2007

U.S. Senate - "Make 25x'25 happen!"

Congratulations to all 25x'25 champions and supporters - our collective effort has paid off. This morning the U.S. Senate adopted by unanimous consent the 25x'25 national goal resolution. The following is a press release announcing this achievement.


Bipartisan Measure Enjoys Support from Ag, Industry Environmental Leaders

The U.S. Senate today adopted by unanimous consent a resolution calling for a new national renewable energy goal: 25 percent of the nation's energy supply from renewable sources by 2025. The resolution, which builds on a vision developed by a broad coalition of agriculture, forestry, industry, and environmental leaders, was adopted by voice vote as an amendment to the energy legislation currently under consideration on the Senate floor. A final vote on the full Senate energy package is expected next week.

"The 25x'25 resolution stresses the virtue of exploring an all-inclusive renewable energy strategy by emphasizing the need to cultivate energy from all kinds of renewable resources, such as wind, biomass, solar, hydropower and geothermal sources," said lead sponsor, Sen. Ken Salazar (D-CO). The 25x'25 vision "is bold and fully attainable. If implemented, it would dramatically improve our energy security, our economy, and our ability to protect the environment and combat global warming," he added.

Salazar, who was joined by 33 other Senate members from both sides of the aisle in supporting the resolution, said 25x'25 "sets a policy goal for our nation" that "complements" the energy package under debate. The goal calls for 25 percent of the nation's energy needs being met with renewable resources from farms, forests and ranches by 2025. The amendment also reinforces the 25x'25 principle that the U.S. agricultural and forestry industries, while producing renewable energy, will continue to produce safe, abundant and affordable food feed and fiber."
J. Read Smith, co-chair of the 25x'25 Steering Committee, expressed the alliance's gratitude to the resolution's sponsors, calling the vote an important first step on the road to a new energy future. "This action demonstrates that policymakers recognize the crucial role that our nation's farms, ranches and forests can play in improving energy security while enhancing the environment and strengthening our economy," Smith said.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), another co-sponsor, said the pending energy legislation "is an appropriate place to include the 25x'25 resolution. The 25x'25 vision sets workable goals for renewable energy production and use that we can all aim for with sensible policies and initiatives." Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), who is also a lead co-sponsor, said "energy security is tied to national security and also means income and economic opportunity for agriculture and rural America. If we are to attain national energy and economic security for our nation, we must reach these aggressive but achievable energy goals." Harkin added, "The 25x'25 plan had very broad consensus support, which helped the Senate incorporate these proposals into our new energy policy."

Co-sponsor, Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL), said "addressing the climate crisis is one of the greatest challenges America faces today. Any comprehensive strategy to fight climate change must include a strong renewable energy standard in addition to a low carbon fuel standard, raised fuel economy standards, and incentives to promote efficiency. This bipartisan resolution will make an unprecedented goal for producing 25 percent of America's energy from renewable sources by 2025." And co-sponsor, Sen. Dick Lugar (R-IN) noted that "global oil and natural gas reserves are concentrated in tumultuous regions that include nations hostile to the United States. Our national security and economic prosperity demand that we move to a sustainable energy future. Ambitious targets that help motivate innovation are crucial. I applaud members of the 25x'25 coalition for providing a vision for renewable fuels,"
Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE), another co-sponsor, said that "in order to ensure our national energy security, America must develop a broad spectrum of renewable energy resources. The agenda of 25x'25 will help this country to meet its 21st century energy needs and ensure reliable and environmentally-friendly domestic energy sources for future generations."

The resolution has the support of more than 500 national, regional and local agricultural, forestry, business, energy, environmental and labor organizations; and more than a third of the nation's governors and 10 state legislatures. A similar resolution (H. Con. Res. 25), is pending in the House of Representatives.

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