The Renewable Energy Marketers Association (REMA) has expressed continued concern that the current draft of energy and climate legislation being debated in Congress would have unintended consequences for renewable projects currently supported voluntarily by individuals, organizations and companies.
Without a provision to retire allowances or reduce the level of the greenhouse gas cap on behalf of renewable energy purchases by these individuals and businesses, these purchases could result in no carbon-reduction benefit, says the group.
To counter this prospect, REMA has joined with a number of environmental groups and major U.S. employers to ensure that the voluntary markets for renewable energy are maintained as part of any future climate change or energy bill that is passed by Congress.
‘REMA's primary objective is to ensure that any cap-and-trade program or energy legislation passed by the federal government maintains the ability of voluntary users of renewable energy to reduce carbon emissions,’ says REMA Federal Policy Committee Chair Rob Harmon of the Bonneville Environmental Foundation. ‘To accomplish this objective, voluntary use of renewable energy must result either in the retirement of allowances or in the lowering of the cap.’
The retirement of allowances or the lowering of a cap in climate legislation in response to voluntary use of renewable energy is currently supported by numerous environmental organizations, such as the National Resources Defense Council, the National Wildlife Federation, the Solar Energy Industries Association and the Union of Concerned Scientists. Joining them are corporate leaders such as Washington Gas Energy Services and SunEdison Corp.