Yesterday, the House of Representatives adopted a resolution that calls for 25 percent of the nation's energy needs to be met by renewable resources by the year 2025.
Under the leadership of House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) and ranking member Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), both lead sponsors of the resolution, the full House now joins the Senate in setting an energy policy that calls on America's farms, ranches and forestlands to provide a fourth of the energy consumed by 2025 to come from land-based resources -- biomass, biofuels, wind energy, solar power, geothermal energy and hydropower -- while continuing to provide a safe, affordable and abundant supply of food, feed and fiber.
The resolution, which was unanimously adopted by the Senate in June, springs from an expanding coalition that now includes 600 agricultural, forestry, environmental, energy, business, labor, civic and government organizations - partners include the American Farm Bureau Federation, the Forest Resources Association, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the "Big 3" U.S. automobile manufacturers - as well as 27 governors and 12 state legislatures.
"The 25x'25 resolution is a statement of our national commitment to support the development of renewable energy sources," Peterson said. "I believe that we can not only meet but exceed the goal of 25 percent by 2025, but every journey starts with a first step, and this resolution is a very important first step that we can take to achieving energy independence."
The resolution has enjoyed bipartisan Congressional support representing rural and urban constituencies.
Adoption of the concurrent resolution "is simply the first step in achieving the 25x'25 vision for America," said 25x'25 Steering Committee Co-Chair Read Smith. In February, the committee handed off to congressional leaders the 25x'25 Action Plan: Charting America's Energy Future. The action plan lists 35 recommendations that when implemented, would cost just 5 percent of what America spent on imported oil in 2006 - but would result in dramatic increases of up to 5 million new jobs and $700 billion in new economic activity annually while significantly reducing oil consumption and global warming emissions. "We look forward to working with Congress to advance the enabling policies that will bring the 25x'25 vision to life," Smith said.
Now that Congress has adopted 25x'25 as a national goal, the 25x'25 Campaign is entering a fourth phase of work in support of a new energy future for America. Efforts are focused on facilitating national partner dialogue and planning around important renewable energy transition issues including measures to protect and enhance the environment; the use of woody biomass in a 25x'25 energy future; biofuel and electricity infrastructure challenges; and agriculture and forestry's role in a reduced carbon economy.
For more information, go to www.25x25.org.