US Governors: more support for wind energy

Top among the recommendations of the Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition is the adoption of a Renewable Electricity Standard (RES), as well as full support for coastal, deep water and offshore wind energy technology and transmission research and development. The permitting process for both offshore and onshore wind energy projects must also be streamlined.

Iowa Governor Chet Culver and Rhode Island Governor Donald Carcieri released Great Expectations: The Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition’s 2010 Recommendations on behalf of 29 governors from across the country. They share a common concern that “dependence on unsustainable and carbon-intensive energy sources is an unacceptable risk to the nation’s energy, economic and environmental security.”

Seven recommendations to support wind energy

Other recommendations in the report:

  • Develop new interstate electric transmission system infrastructure as needed to provide access to premier renewable energy resources, both onshore and offshore;
  • Expand the US Department of Energy’s work with the states and the wind industry to accelerate innovation; and
  • Extend the Treasury Department grant programme in lieu of the investment tax credit, and adopt a long-term renewable energy production tax credit with provisions to broaden the pool of eligible investors.

The recommendations will “simultaneously and cost-effectively address some of the nation’s most pressing needs - jobs, energy, climate, and national security - through the use of domestic renewable energy resources,” explains their letter to President Obama. “We share a common concern that our dependence on imported energy sources poses unacceptable and unnecessary risks to the nation’s energy, economic and national security.”

Work has started but additional policy needed

Congress began to encourage renewable energies last year with passage of the American Clean Energy & Security Act of 2009 (H.R. 2454), but additional policy work remains as the Senate considers its version of this legislation.

The recommendations were also sent to the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee, House Committee on Energy & Commerce and other senior politicians in Washington.

“The title of the governors’ recommendations could not be more apt,” explains Governor Culver. “Americans have great expectations for the nation’s energy future, and these recommendations from the nation’s governors to Congress and the Administration meet those expectations.”

“This is the first set of comprehensive wind energy recommendations ever submitted to Congress by a group of the nation’s governors,” adds Governor Carcieri. “These recommendations could not be more timely; Congressional action on the energy bill seems to have stalled. It is our hope that these recommendations and the national bipartisan consensus they represent, will advance the energy deliberations now under way in Congress.”

About the Governors' Coalition

The Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition encourages national policy and legislation for the development and distribution of wind energy; communicates and demonstrates the value and benefits of wind energy to consumers, energy companies and policy makers; shares state best practices in wind and renewable energy policy development; creates an environment of support to develop responsible wind energy resources; and supports development of infrastructure for the expansion of wind energy across the United States.