Ethanol and wind turbines have been very popular renewable energy resources to many Americans, but the U.S. Congress as well as major energy corporations and organizations are now becoming optimistic about the future of America's renewable energy resources. Back in May, House Representative Henry Waxman (Calif.) sponsored a bill known as the Waxman-Markey bill which soared through the Energy and Commerce Committee. Atop of this bill, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) introduced the new White House proposal which plans to shift the country away from foreign oil by requiring an increase in renewable fuel usage from 9 billion gallons to 36 billion gallons by 2022 (Lillis).
The main purpose of the EPA's proposal and the Waxman-Markey bill is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Many companies currently working to find renewable energy resources have found themselves under a lot of pressure. The strict regulations of both proposals are not only hurting non-renewable resource energy companies but also those producing renewable energy. Ethanol is becoming common at many gas pumps but companies are feeling at loss as politicians are starting to doubt its potential in solving global warming. The production of ethanol requires an increase in corn crops which results in a loss of the world's food production and destruction of land. The "EPA's model is designed to account for deforestation by overseas farmers who might be forced to expand cropland in response to higher food costs" (Lillis). Ethanol Companies are complaining to the EPA because they have no control overseas. Besides ethanol companies, many CEO's from businesses such as MidAmerican Energy Company, We Generation, and the Renewable Fuels Association argue the following:
* The deadlines of the bills outpace the development of technology to capture or reduce carbon emissions. * Trying to meet the EPA's new deadline will require new energy and technology reforms that will be costly especially during the country's recession. * The changes would result in increased power rates for consumers.
People in support of the proposals and regulations argue that they will place renewable portfolio standards (RPS) into States that do not have any and create thousands of new jobs in the renewable energy sector. It was revealed by Denise Bode, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association, that power in her area of expertise is coming online faster than CEOs acknowledge and it can outpace the need for increased rates and new power (Gongwer News Service). Other people in support of certain aspects of the federal regulations acknowledge that a hike in energy rates can create several job losses. Those who favor certain aspects of the federal regulations, suggest that the states should mandate their own RPS. Under state control, state regulators will get the most feedback when rates increase compared to those who work for federal government. It is also suggested by supporters that new technology in renewable energy resources will develop in the states where companies are not competing on a win or lose basis (Gongwer News Service).
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The thoughts, opinions, and positions represented herein are solely those of the participating students and in no way represent an official position or policy recommendation of Michigan State University.