In Power Forward: The Argument for a National RPS, Professor Lincoln L. Davies provides a comprehensive and compelling argument for a national renewable portfolio standard (“RPS”). This Commentary Article reviews Professor Davies’ assumptions and conclusions and places his RPS analysis in context within the broader energy and environmental debate.
Beyond expanding renewable energy generation and shifting away from fossil fuels, RPS legislation is often motivated by additional goals: addressing climate change, improving national security, and promoting economic development. This Commentary Article argues that, if these loftier goals are to be achieved, a better articulation of RPS objectives is necessary. Furthermore, a national RPS is the proper method for pursuing, and hopefully achieving, these goals because state-level impediments limit the possibilities for continued progress under state RPS programs. Finally, any national RPS will need additional legislative and regulatory assistance, beyond simply a well-designed RPS, to ensure that a national RPS fully achieves its objectives.