WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Jim Jeffords, I - Vt., and John Kerry, D – Mass., today filed an amendment to the Senate energy bill to require that by the year 2020, 20 percent of U.S. electricity production shall come from renewable resources like wind, solar and geothermal energy. The Senate is expected to begin debate on the energy bill tomorrow. Jeffords, the ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee said, "Currently less than two percent of the electricity generated in our country is produced by clean, renewable energy sources. This amendment will harness under-utilized renewable energy sources and reduce harmful air and water pollution from coal and other fossil fuels. It is time for Congress to realize that renewable energy is the long-term solution to our dependence on foreign oil." "Consumers shouldn't have to struggle through another year of record-breaking gas and electric bills before Congress sees the light. By setting an achievable standard now and gradually increasing our share of renewable energy sources, this is a common-sense way to get our energy priorities in order," said Senator Kerry. "I'm proud to join Senator Jeffords on this effort. It will create jobs, save consumers money on their electricity bills and help improve the quality of our environment." The Jeffords/Kerry amendment: • Creates a renewable energy standard under which utilities would be required to gradually increase the amount of electricity produced from renewable energy resources, starting at 2.5% in 2006 and leveling out at 20% in 2020; • Promotes the development of wind, solar, geothermal and certain types of biomass (vegetative matter and animal waste) energy; • Provides a flexible, market driven system of tradable credits by which utilities can readily achieve these renewable energy requirements; • Allows utilities credit for existing renewable energy production; • Allows states to set standards higher than the Federal requirements.