Fri, 14 May 2021

WASHINGTON D.C.: A group of 13 American power companies wrote to President Joe Biden this week urging him to enact policies, including a clean energy standard, to reduce carbon emissions by 80 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.

In the letter, a copy of which was reported by Reuters, the power companies, which included Exelon Corp, PSEG, and Talen Energy Corp, said they would work with the Biden administration and Congress on policies to cut the sector's emissions.

"A federal policy framework can be designed to support the power sector's deployment of strategies that are technically feasible, ensure reliability, and maintain affordability for customers," it was written.

While the letter did not touch upon Biden's target to completely decarbonize the power sector by 2035, it said the 2030 timeline was in line with the US President's goal of reducing carbon throughout the entire economy by 2050.

Implementing a clean energy standard would involve setting gradual and increasing emission reduction targets for power companies until they reach net-zero emissions.

Companies could choose from several methods to slash emissions - from using wind, solar, or nuclear power, to removing carbon from coal and natural gas plants before they reach the atmosphere.

Some proposals for a clean energy standard even include the option of allowing utilities to earn bankable credits for overshooting targets in the early years. The credits could be used for compliance by the companies in later years when reducing emissions becomes more difficult.

Besides the Biden administration, which proposed a clean energy standard in its $2.3-trillion infrastructure package earlier this month, several lawmakers, including US Representative Frank Pallone and Senator Tina Smith, have introduced legislation on putting in place a clean energy standard.

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