SENATE JOINT MEMORIAL 8031
State of Washington 57th Legislature 2002 Regular Session
By Senators Hale and Fraser
Read first time 01/17/2002. Referred to Committee on Environment, Energy & Water.
TO THE HONORABLE GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, AND TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE AND THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, AND TO THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE UNITED STATES, IN CONGRESS ASSEMBLED:
We, your Memorialists, the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Washington, in legislative session assembled, respectfully represent and petition as follows:
WHEREAS, The United States Congress established the Renewable Energy Production Incentive (REPI) program in the Energy Policy Act of 1992 to provide direct payments to not-for-profit utilities for energy produced by new renewable energy projects; and
WHEREAS, REPI is the counterpart to the program authorized in the same act which grants private utilities a federal tax credit for energy produced by new renewable energy projects; and
WHEREAS, REPI has proved to be a valuable and needed program to encourage public power systems and rural electric cooperatives to pursue development of renewable technologies; and
WHEREAS, Authorization for the current REPI program expires in 2003 and must be renewed by Congress to continue to assist not-for-profit utilities in the development of cost-effective renewable resources and to provide a measure of parity with the incentives provided to private power companies; and
WHEREAS, The effectiveness and vitality of the REPI program also depend on congressional support for annual appropriations to provide more certainty to utilities considering development of renewable energy projects; and
WHEREAS, Reauthorization and an increase in federal funding for REPI could also benefit the Northwest by encouraging development of energy resources that provide significant environmental benefits; and
WHEREAS, The volatility in the western electricity market in 1999 and 2000 also demonstrated the need for the Northwest to develop additional generating resources and to broaden the diversity of its resource portfolio and REPI could play an important role in meeting those regional goals; and
WHEREAS, In calendar year 2001 not-for-profit utilities applied for almost $30 million in incentive payments from the REPI program, but less than $4 million was made available to provide incentives for these renewable energy projects;
NOW THEREFORE, Your Memorialists respectfully urge the Northwest congressional delegation, the United States Congress, and the Bush Administration to:
(1) Reauthorize REPI for an additional ten years, with such modifications as are needed to provide greater certainty of payment and, therefore, greater incentives to qualified renewable energy projects; and
(2) Provide a level of funding for REPI that will maximize the potential for development of new renewable resources by not-for-profit utilities.
BE IT RESOLVED, That copies of this Memorial be immediately transmitted to the Honorable George W. Bush, President of the United States, the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and each member of Congress from the State of Washington.
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