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On July 11, 2007, the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) held a congressional briefing about national renewable electricity portfolio standards such as those that have been introduced in the Senate and are likely to be raised as an amendment as the House considers energy legislation this Congress. A Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) is a market-based mechanism that requires utilities to gradually increase the portion of electricity produced from renewable resources such as wind, biomass, geothermal, solar energy, incremental hydropower and marine energy. Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia have RPSs, covering 40 percent of the nation’s electrical load. A national RPS has passed the Senate in the last three Congresses, although it is not included in the recent Senate energy bill. A recent analysis by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) of a national RPS proposed by Senate Energy Committee Chair Bingaman (D-NM) requiring electric utilities to acquire 15 percent of their electricity from renewable energy sources by 2020, found net consumer cost to increase just 0.3 percent through 2030 compared to the reference case. In April, the National Commission on Energy Policy (NCEP), which in 2004 published recommendations including a national greenhouse gas “cap-and-trade” program, added a recommendation for a 15 percent RPS to its set of national energy policy recommendations. In June, "Renewing America," a study by the Network for New Energy Choices, found that a 20 percent by 2020 national RPS could reduce as much carbon dioxide as taking 71 million cars off the nation’s roads and would decrease consumer energy bills by an average of 1.5 percent per year. An article in the May issue of Electricity Journal by Professor Marilyn Brown et al. discusses the value of including energy efficiency along with renewable energy in a national portfolio standard.