(Host) The House has advanced a bill designed to encourage renewable power projects.
The legislation sets wholesale prices for certain kinds of generation, including wind projects and solar installations.
But Stowe Republican Heidi Scheurmann warned that the bill could lead to higher electric rates for businesses and consumers.
(Scheurmann) At a time we’re not sure of our future electricity portfolio, and what its costs will be, we’re setting rate high above current market rates, and most likely high above market rates in the future.
(Host) But Tony Klein, the chairman of the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee, defended the bill as the best he has worked on in his legislative career. He said the legislation provides needed incentives for renewable energy developers.
(Klein) This is a good bill that does a lot of good things for a lot of people. The sky is not falling. Chicken Little is no where to be found in this House, and I would urge you to rethink your position and get on board.
(Host) The Douglas Administration opposes the bill because of the potential impact on consumers.
Administration officials are also concerned that the legislation directs state utility regulators to approve the rates for renewable projects. They said the regulators should make those decisions on their own.