WASHINGTON, DC—Today US Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) and Representative Ben Ray Luján introduced a new bill designed to address the issue of climate change by reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions nationally. The bill calls for a Clean Energy Standard (CES)—a market-based, technology-neutral portfolio standard—requiring that energy be generated from reduced or non-emitting GHG sources.
Resources for the Future (RFF) researchers helped assess the impacts of the bill.
The assessment is titled, “Projected Effects of the Clean Energy Standard Act of 2019.” The authors are RFF Fellows Dan Shawhan and Kevin Rennert, along with Senior Research Assistant Paul Picciano.
According to RFF’s analysis, relative to a “no additional policy” baseline, the proposed Clean Energy Standard Act of 2019 is projected to:
- Reduce power sector greenhouse gas emissions in 2035 by 61 percent, with cumulative emission reductions between 2020 and 2035 of approximately 10 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent;
- Increase generation by renewables from 30 percent to 56 percent of total generation in 2035;
- Avoid retirement of 43 gigawatts of nuclear generation capacity as of 2035, which would increase nuclear generation from 10 percent to 18 percent of total generation in 2035;
- Reduce generation from fossil sources from 60 percent to 26 percent of total generation in 2035;
- Provide net benefits of $579 billion over the 2020–2035 time period;
- Prevent 30,000 premature deaths from air pollution in the US over the 2020–2035 time period; and
- Increase nationally averaged retail electricity rates by 4 percent in 2035.
Resources for the Future (RFF) is an independent, nonprofit research institution in Washington, DC. Its mission is to improve environmental, energy, and natural resource decisions through impartial economic research and policy engagement. RFF is committed to being the most widely trusted source of research insights and policy solutions leading to a healthy environment and a thriving economy.
Unless otherwise stated, the views expressed here are those of the individual authors and may differ from those of other RFF experts, its officers, or its directors. RFF does not take positions on specific legislative proposals.