Secretaries Perry and Zinke showing support for wind power

AWEA CEO Tom Kiernan penned commentary in The Hill today, highlighting recent wind energy support from Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. Here are a few highlights:

The new administration is taking notice: wind energy is a job-creation engine that speeds up the path to American energy independence.

“Renewable energy, like offshore wind, is one tool in the all of the above energy toolbox that will help power America with domestic energy, securing energy independence, and bolstering the economy,” Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke recently said.

Meanwhile, Energy Secretary Rick Perry recently tweeted his pride at the fact that his home state of Texas leads the country in installed wind power.

Here’s why they may have sent the words of encouragement:

Here is one number that demonstrates why Secretaries Zinke and Perry are right that wind works for America: 248,000. By the end of President Trump’s first term, that is how many U.S. workers will have wind energy-related jobs according to a new analysis from Navigant Consulting.

Many of these jobs are in manufacturing, so they help revive part of the job sector that has struggled for decades. Over 500 U.S. factories employ 25,000 workers who build wind-related parts. Many are bringing jobs back to the Rust Belt. For example, Ohio leads the way with 62 wind factories, while Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania have 26 apiece. By 2020, 33,000 Americans could be working in wind manufacturing, a gain of 8,000 U.S. factory jobs in President Trump’s first term.

But it’s not the only reason:

Wind farms are often the largest taxpayers in a county, so they substantially increase local coffers. Towns use this extra income to pay teacher salaries, fix roads and buy new ambulances. New wind farms will pay over $8 billion in local taxes over the next four years according to Navigant, and that’s on top of tax revenues coming from existing projects. Overall, the forecast finds wind energy will create $85 billion in economic activity over the next four years.

It makes sense to make as much of our energy as we can from wind, which uses no fuel, and over time can increase our energy independence.

Make sure to read the whole commentary here.

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