Washington, D.C. -- U.S. Sen. Jim Jeffords, I - Vt., today introduced two bills to make energy production cleaner and more reliable. Jeffords, the ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, today introduced the "Electric Reliability Security Act of 2005" and the "Renewable Energy Investment Act of 2005." The "Electric Reliability Security Act of 2005," will increase the reliability and security of the electricity grid in an efficient, cost-effective, and environmentally sound manner. The legislation will create mandatory uniform federal rules requiring that utilities operating power systems to ensure reliable delivery of power; provide $10 billion in loan guarantees to invest in and modernize existing transmission and distribution systems; and establish national standards for "net-metering" to allow existing alternative energy sources, such as home windmills and extra power generated by manufacturing facilities, to be sold back to the grid and provide additional power. U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and Edward Kennedy, D-MA, are cosponsors of the legislation. Jeffords said, "The 50 million people who suffered in 2002 during the Northeast blackout want Congress to do better. We cannot solve today's energy problems with yesterday's solutions. Instead of building new power plants and more power lines, my bill strengthens our nation's power grid through better organization and better utilization of existing power sources. Given the high costs of power outages to our country, we cannot afford to do otherwise." The "Renewable Energy Investment Act of 2005," creates a market-driven, flexible, and efficient policy mechanism called a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), to accelerate the use of domestic renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind, and biomass technologies. The legislation will provide an essential and modest first step in leveling the playing field for market-ready clean renewable technologies; require all retail electric providers to sell an increasing percentage of electricity derived from renewable sources, starting at 5% in 2006 and leveling out at 20% in 2020; and establish a system of tradable renewable energy credits, which creates flexibility in meeting the renewable goals. Joining Jeffords in introducing the RPS legislation are U.S. Sens. Olympia Snowe, R-Me., Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., Diane Feinstein, D-Cal., Richard Durbin, D-Il., Edward Kennedy D-Mass., Jack Reed, D-RI, John Kerry, D-Mass, Christopher Dodd, D-CT, Barbara Boxer, D-CA, and Frank Lautenberg, D-NJ. "Our energy future depends on our ability to develop and expand clean alternative energy sources," said Jeffords. "The bill sets aggressive, realizable targets for the amount of electricity we generate from renewable energy sources like the sun and the wind. This legislation lets people know that we are serious about moving away from polluting energy sources like fossil fuels. The time has come to stop talking about renewable energy and start generating it. Doing that will be good for the health of the American people and the health of the American economy." The bill also establishes a grants program that would provide funds to states to research renewable energy, construct renewable energy facilities, and provide customer rebates for renewable energy technologies.