Bingaman preps ‘clean’ power plan after SOTU shout-out

He mentioned the standard in acknowledging that there’s not political support in Congress to pass wider climate change legislation. But Obama noted the clean energy standard hasn’t advanced either.

“The differences in this chamber may be too deep right now to pass a comprehensive plan to fight climate change,” Obama said. “But there’s no reason why Congress shouldn’t at least set a clean energy standard that creates a market for innovation. So far, you haven’t acted.”

Obama then touted other renewables proposals he’s pursuing without Congress. But Bingaman took a glass-half-full approach to Obama’s decision to mention the standard in a speech.

“He mentioned it as a way to deal with our environmental problems and responsibly with our energy needs. I think it is worth putting out there and we will see,” said Bingaman, who for months has been readying the proposal for early 2012 release.

The clean energy standard faces long odds in the Senate and even bigger hurdles in the GOP-led House. “This is a difficult environment in which to get anything major done. We all recognize that,” Bingaman said.

Asked if he would try and steer the measure through the energy committee, Bingaman replied: “I don’t know. We will have to see what the reaction of folks is.”