As Congress returns to DC this week, clean energy advocates across the country are making a stronger case than ever for the support of the American wind industry and economic benefits waiting to be unleashed. After members of Congress left Washington, D.C. to head home for the August recess, over 1,500 wind energy jobs across the country were either lost or put in question due to their failure to extend the Production Tax Credit and Investment Tax Credit for offshore wind. These are critical measures for maintaining the progress the industry has made, and maintaining these 21st century clean energy jobs.
Three reports by BlueGreen Alliance partners—two by the Natural Resources Defense Council and one by the National Wildlife Federation— layout the state of play for both onshore and offshore wind; driving home the point that wind has and will work for American jobs and an American energy source, if the opportunity is seized.
NRDC highlights the effects of job creation and economic stimulus from just one American wind farm, revealing that 1,079 direct jobs are generated, the majority of which in are manufacturing, construction and operation and highlights the power of a domestic supply chain.
Additionally, NRDC looks at the community benefits of embracing wind power as an additional revenue source and enabling further economic development (not to mention on average $8,000 per windmill for rural landowners). A strong wind energy industry compounds manufacturing activity and workforce development as shown in Canton, Ohio among surrounding areas where 19 communities are involved in the wind supply chain, including the first center for wind energy development and research of its kind.
The National Wildlife Association draws special attention to the unique role offshore wind could play for the United States. Their report: “The Turning Point for Atlantic Offshore Wind Energy: Time for Action to Create Jobs, Reduce Pollution, Protect Wildlife & Secure America’s Energy Future” outlines a way forward to capture the massive wind resources off the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. NWF found that by generating wind from just 4% of the 54 gigawatts of the identified energy available, the United States could benefit from $200 billion in economic activity and 300,000 jobs.
These reports agree on many things, but chief among them, is that clean energy can provide a way forward for a 21st century clean energy economy, and that the American worker will take us there.
Hear BGA's Yvette Pena Lops on the National Wildlife Federation's call below.