Senate Energy Bill – CES versus RES

Just got a message from someone in the know. Apparently, the Republican version of the Senate energy bill promotes a “clean energy standard” or CES whereas the Democrat version promotes a “renewable energy standard” or RES. What’s the difference? If you allow the definition of “clean energy” to include products like clean-coal or nuclear power, then a CES will not change US energy consumption. Take a look:

US Energy Production (Current estimate)

  • Coal 46.5%
  • Natural Gas 19.9%
  • Nuclear 19.8%
  • Hydoelectric 6.2%
  • Wind 1.5%
  • Other 6.1%

A 20% CES mandate can be achieved by adding only 0.2% market-share to nuclear technology. In other words, the Republican CES bill is nothing more than a sleight of hand. True energy reform must come as an increase from under-utilized technologies like wind and solar power – an actual renewable energy source.

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