The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.

Harnessing the Winds of Bipartisanship

Rare is the occasion when Democrats and Republicans share a common interest to resolve any particular issue. But wind energy has garnered large bipartisan support lately as proponents of the Production Tax Credit fight for its extension before the end of the year, when it is scheduled to expire.

Wind energy is a dichotomy of sorts. While Democrats are generally the stronger supporters of renewable energy, wind power is a green technology that is best suited in states with a strong wind resource – many of which traditionally vote Republican. Here in my home state of Oklahoma (the state in which all 77 counties voted against President Obama in both the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections), an impressive majority of folks are supporters of wind energy growth.  In fact, Denise Bode, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association, is an Oklahoman and served as our Corporate Commissioner for 12 years.

And while I’m slightly leery of any poll conducted by the Sierra Club, it’s worth mentioning that a Sierra Club poll released in September found that nearly seven out of 10 respondents believe that Oklahoma utilities should invest more in wind power. Oklahoma ranks eighth in wind generation capacity, according to the Department of Energy.

Oklahoma’s Republican Governor, Mary Fallin, is in support of an extension to the PTC. She joins a newly-formed bipartisan group of 28 governors rooting for wind energy and the PTC extension. The Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition said in a Nov. 13 letter to Congressional leadership that “[w]ithout a PTC extension, it is estimated that the U.S. economy will lose 37,000 wind industry jobs and the opportunity to leverage over $10 billion of private investment. Our states are already seeing these impacts.”

Another member of the coalition, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, said during a Nov. 13 press call that his state has invested nearly $3 billion in wind energy this year. However, “all of those numbers go to zero next year. We have virtually no new wind investments going into next year.”

Meanwhile, another coalition formed this week in support of wind energy: The Red State Renewable Alliance., led by John Feehery, a Republican strategist and former spokesman for Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert and Majority Whip Tom DeLay. “The Red State Renewable Alliance will work to promote wind energy and extend the wind energy production tax credit to maintain America's leading position and to save American jobs associated with the industry, many of which are in traditionally conservative Congressional districts,” according to a news announcement released by the alliance.

In the end, what should matter the most to all Americans – regardless of political party affiliation – is continuing to grow our economy into one that will be prosperous for us and our families for generations to come. The wind energy sector has just taken off in the last decade, and to leave it at this stage without the support it needs to become an even more thriving industry would be a detriment to renewable energy development in the U.S. and the economies of numerous states, both blue and red.

 

RELATED ARTICLES

Renewable Energy Finance

Clean Energy ETFs Are on a Tear

Eric Balchunas, Bloomberg Green investing used to be synonymous with losing money. But while the S&P 500 Index is up 2 percent this year, and the MSCI All-Country World Index is up 5 percent, clean energy ETFs have double-digit re...

Wheels, Towers and Trees: Unconventional Renewable Energy Technologies in the Pipeline

Andrew Williams, International Correspondent A number of companies around the world are developing novel technologies in an effort to grab a slice of the global renewable energy market.  Although many of these technologies are simple incremental improvements to e...
UK Parliament Clean Energy Leaders

UK Government Names Clean Energy Cabinet Members

David Appleyard, Contributing Editor With the UK general election now over and a majority Conservative Party government in place, the re-elected Prime Minister David Cameron has now named key members of the government charged with steering the UK’s clean energ...
Microgrids

Coast to Coast and Across the Electric System, Microgrids Provide Benefits to All

Dick Munson, Environmental Defense Fund At the most obvious level, microgrids could disrupt today’s utilities and their regulated-monopoly business model, because they challenge the centralized paradigm. In a nutshell, microgrids are localized power grids that ha...
Former associate editor for Power Engineering magazine where I used to EPA's regulations for the power industry in detail. For renewables, I write about solar and wind-related policies and technologies. I'm a native of Tulsa, Okla. with a bac...

CURRENT MAGAZINE ISSUE

03/01/2015
Volume 18, Issue 3
file

STAY CONNECTED

To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:

SOCIAL ACTIVITY

Tweet the Editors! @megcichon @jennrunyon

FEATURED PARTNERS



EVENTS

Doing Business in Brazil – in partnership with GWEC, the Global Win...

Brazil is one of the most promising markets for wind energy.  Ranke...

Energy Storage USA 2015

Energy Storage USA is the leading conference in the United States focuse...

Wind Power Central America

Wind power projects are expected to reach 46GW of total installed capaci...

COMPANY BLOGS

SunEdison Expands Residential Market Offerings with New PPA, Sales ...

SunEdison has largely focussed on the commercial and utility-scale solar...

Are You Ready for a Natural Disaster?

Guest post by Jenna Clarke  Living in the Shenandoah Valley of Virg...

Deadline for Inclusion in Solar Power World's Top Solar Contractors...

UPDATE: The official deadline for the Solar Power World T...

NEWSLETTERS

Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now  

 

FEATURED PARTNERS