Project Development, Wind Power

U.S. Wind Industry Forms Advocacy Group

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) this week announced the formation of a broad national coalition of wind energy advocates that is intended to be the largest pro-wind energy development organization of its kind in the United States.

Wind Energy Works! will actively and aggressively engage in the public conversation over the merits of wind energy, educate the public about the many benefits of wind energy development, and “act as a counterbalance to the misinformation being spread by wind energy opponents in communities across the country.” “Wind energy works because it is one of the cleanest, most environmentally friendly energy sources in the world, helps reduce our country’s dependence on foreign sources of energy, creates jobs and supports local economies,” said Randall Swisher, Executive Director of the American Wind Energy Association. “But despite all of these benefits, there is an ongoing effort by wind energy opponents to mislead the public and hinder or block further wind energy development across the country. This new coalition will make the positive case for continued wind energy development and engage the public with the facts.” There is great support in this country for wind energy development. A May 2005 Yale University poll found that 87 percent of Americans support expanded wind farms and 86 percent want increased funding for renewable energy research. Despite such widespread support, AWEA says opponents have mounted a concerted effort to distort the truth about wind energy’s benefits and spread misinformation to the public in an attempt to influence their favorable perception of wind energy. The Wind Energy Works! coalition was created to counter myths with facts. The initial organizations in the coalition include a diverse array of national, regional and local environmental, agricultural, economic development, faith-based and wind and renewable energy advocacy groups. Members include: Earth Policy Institute, the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, the Izaak Walton League of America, Union of Concerned Scientists, the American Corn Growers Association, the American Corn Growers Foundation, Prowers County Development, Inc., and The Regeneration Project/Interfaith Power and Light. Wind and renewable energy advocacy organization members include: AWEA, Renewable Energy Long Island, Western Resource Advocates, the Renewable Northwest Project, Wind Power New York, Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future, the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies (CEERT), The Wind Coalition, Green Energy Ohio, Wind on the Wires, the Interwest Energy Alliance, Clean Energy Partnership, Renew Wisconsin, West Wind Wires, Minnesotans for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ME3), and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. This initial group will be supplemented over time by an even broader set of national, regional, state and local organizations. Although the establishment of the coalition was spurred by AWEA, the coalition’s vision is to become a broad-based alliance of independent voices providing a platform for organizations from the environmental, agricultural, business, health, social justice, faith, and academic communities to promote their combined expertise and perspective on the need for continued wind energy development. This effort will reach every corner of the country and every level of the wind energy conversation – from local town hall meetings to state media coverage to the floor of the U.S. Senate, the coalition’s presence will be felt and its perspective will be voiced. “By combining the resources of its members and creating a unified message and communication infrastructure, the coalition will engage in every aspect of the wind energy conversation across this country and let no myth or falsehood about wind go unanswered without the facts about wind energy’s tremendous benefits,” said Coalition Steering Committee Member Susan Sloan of The Wind Coalition (Austin, Texas). “The strength and effectiveness of this coalition will be greater than the sum of its parts.”