Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has introduced the Clean Energy Standard Act of 2010 (S. 20), which would require utilities to obtain 20% of their energy from “clean energy” sources by 2020, with the requirement rising by 5% every five years through 2050. 

Sources included within the definition of “clean energy” would be renewables, biomass, new nuclear, and coal—if 65% of greenhouse gas emissions are captured and stored. The standard would credit companies retiring inefficient fossil fuel plants and allow utilities to pay 3.5 cents/kWh in lieu of compliance.

The bill comes weeks after Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) introduced renewable energy standard (RES) legislation with Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.). Those senators are hoping to have a vote on their bill during the congressional lame duck session. According to the New York Times, however, Graham’s measure could draw support away from the Bingaman-Brownback bill. The newspaper suggests that Graham’s bill could attract the support of Republicans from states that generate more nuclear and coal power. 

Sources: Sen. Lindsey Graham, POWERnews, New York Times