Deputy Energy Secretary Daniel Poneman on Tuesday renewed the administration's call for a clean-energy standard for electricity, an idea first brought up by President Obama during his 2011 State of the Union address.
Speaking at a Center for Strategic and International Studies forum on the future of nuclear energy, Poneman said that "nuclear has and can have an important and, if anything, a pivotal role to play in continuing the transformation of our energy economy," also citing the administration's efforts to "double down" on renewable energy.
"In that respect, it's worth noting "¦ a clean-energy standard," Poneman said. "The idea is obviously to create a market here at home for innovative clean-energy technologies, such as nuclear, and in so doing, to unleash the ingenuity of American entrepreneurs, American innovators, and help America win this global race for clean energy."
Obama first mentioned the idea of such a clean-energy standard in 2011, calling for 80 percent of the nation's electricity to be produced from clean sources by 2035.
Despite initial bipartisan support for the idea and draft legislation from Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman, the proposal couldn't gain traction in the upper chamber and eventually stalled. As these talks dissipated, so did calls for a clean-energy standard from the administration.