Begich Introduces Renewable Energy Research Legislation | Alaska Native News

Begich Introduces Renewable Energy Research Legislation

U.S. Sen. Mark Begich today re-introduced his Renewable Energy Environmental Research Act, a bill designed to promote renewable energy research.

Co-sponsored by Sen. Olympia Snowe, (R-ME), the bill directs the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to implement a research program designed to collect, monitor, and distribute environmental data to assist development of renewable energy, particularly related to ocean energy.

“Alaska has tremendous renewable energy resources. Wave and tidal energy is getting more traction every day with projects moving ahead in Cook Inlet, Yakutat, and Juneau,” Begich said. “My bill will help energy companies identify new potential sites for tidal and wave energy and over the long-term help Alaska communities bring down their energy prices and grow the local economy.”

Begich, chairman of the Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and Coast Guard, originally introduced the bill in 2009 as part of a larger package of bills aimed at improving scientific research in the Arctic, reducing the nation’s carbon footprint and boosting jobs in the renewable energy field.

The bill authorizes $100 million for program implementation with up to half the amount eligible to states and educational institutions to carry out renewable energy research.