The American Legislative Exchange Council--which promotes free market policies in state legislatures--is advancing model legislation lawmakers can use to repeal state renewable energy standards. Across the nation, 30 states and the District of Columbia have mandatory renewable energy standards that require utilities to get as much as 33 percent of their power from wind, solar, and other renewable resources, according to the Energy Information Administration. Concerned about the cost of the mandates, ALEC\u2019s board last month approved model legislation, dubbed \u201cThe Electricity Freedom Act,\u201d to serve as a convenient legislative vehicle for repealing renewable energy standards. The model bill--drafted as a simple one liner to strike renewable energy standard laws accompanied by a statement of reasons--states that \u201ca renewable energy mandate is essentially a tax on consumers of electricity that forces the use of renewable energy sources beyond what would be called for by real market forces and under conditions of real competition in generation resources.\u201d The draft bill would let existing contracts stand and allow utilities to continue to enter renewable energy contracts. It also would not ban green power marketing in states with retail choice or green pricing programs offered by utilities. Its only effect would be to ban requiring additional renewable energy contracts after enactment. In a report decrying the notion of repeal, Clean Energy Under Siege, the Sierra Club pointed out that even before the ALEC model bill there were attempts to repeal renewable energy standard laws in a few states, including Montana, Michigan, and Ohio. It went on to implore state lawmakers to \u201cbrace for an onslaught\u201d now that ALEC\u2019s model bill is out and likely to be pushed by fossil fuel interests when legislatures convene next year. In a rejoinder, ALEC stated that it has members both in state legislatures and private industry who support renewable energy and that the organization is not against it. However, it stated, \u201cMandates to transform the energy sector and use renewable energy sources place the government in the unfair position of choosing winners and losers, keeping alive industries that are dependent on special interest lobbying.\u201d It wants the free market to reign. It remains to be seen if the Exchange Council will gain traction. Based on election results, it appears that the repeal legislation faces an uphill struggle, with Republicans gaining more political control in only two states with renewable energy standards, Wisconsin and North Carolina. In other states there was no change or Democrats gained ground, like in Colorado and Minnesota. In general, across the nation Democrats picked up seats in state legislative races, as tracked by Ballotpedia, including in California where the Legislature now borders on a supermajority ruled by Democrats. * * * * * Pass the wine, hold the red sauce please. That may be the formula for California growers to reduce their emissions of nitrous oxide, which, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, is a potent greenhouse gas 310 times more powerful than carbon dioxide as a global warming agent. California agricultural researchers presented the results of their four-year, $2.9 million state-funded studies to characterize emissions of the gas from various crops grown in California, with an eye toward developing new farming practices and strategies--such as fertilizer applications and irrigation regimens--that could reduce the emissions. In presenting the results at the California Air Resources Board Nov. 28, the researchers shared that vineyards they studied emitted as little as 0.2 kilograms of nitrous oxide\/hectare\/year compared to tomato fields that emitted as little as 0.9 kilograms. No word on whether the grapes were white or red.