Regional
4:31 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

Bingaman Pushes For National Clean Energy Standard

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The chairman of the U.S. Senate's energy committee is pushing for a national standard aimed at bolstering clean energy and encouraging more industrial efficiency.

Sen. Jeff Bingaman, a New Mexico Democrat, says his legislation would not put a limit on overall emissions. Rather, it's designed to encourage the use of cleaner sources of electricity generation over time through a credit system.

Bingaman acknowledges there will be challenges to getting the bill passed, but that analysis shows the goal of doubling clean energy by 2035 is achievable and affordable.

New Mexico's largest electric provider, PNM, says a comprehensive national energy strategy would help alleviate the regulatory uncertainties that stand in the way of utilities making long-term investments in their systems.

Bingaman says he hopes to have a hearing on the legislation in the coming weeks.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.