For Immediate Release

Contact:  Christine Real de Azua
202-383-2508
[email protected]

For more information, contact:
Susan Williams Sloan, 512-220-9063


Wind Energy Works! First Anniversary

NATIONAL WIND ENERGY COALITION CELEBRATES FIRST ANNIVERSARY, FORESEES CONTINUED GROWTH IN MEMBERS, ACTIVITIES

WASHINGTON, DC, July 17, 2006---The national Wind Energy Works! coalition celebrates its first anniversary this month. Launched to highlight the breadth and strength of support for wind energy across the country, the coalition brings together the American Wind Energy Association and a wide array of groups that support wind energy development for its many benefits. The coalition has grown from 23 members at the time it was launched to almost 70 members today, and includes national, regional and local agricultural, economic development, environmental, and faith-based groups. For a full listing of members see http://www.windenergyworks.org/coalition_members.html

"Energy is on the front pages of our nation's papers again," said American Corn Growers Foundation CEO and Wind Energy Works! Steering Committee Member Dan McGuire. "Every megawatt of electricity that is generated by wind energy helps hold down the price of natural gas, which benefits rural economies like those of Iowa and other corn producing states. Wind energy works for our economy, our environment, and our energy security."

"Wind energy has proven its economic value to consumers in Colorado and other states--its cost stability, along with economic and environmental benefits, make it a win-win technology," added InterWest Energy Alliance Director and Wind Energy Works! Steering Committee Member Craig Cox. "Wind Energy Works! performs increasingly valuable work in bringing diverse stakeholders together from around the country."

Polls show strong public support for wind power. Almost nine out of ten Americans (87%) support expanded wind farms, according to a 2005 poll by Yale University. A poll by Public Opinion Strategies, released in June at a national conference calling for 25% of the nation's energy to come from renewable energy sources by 2025, shows that 98% see shifting to domestically-produced, renewable energy sources as important for the country.
http://www.agenergy.info/index.aspx?ascxid=pagedetail&pid=17674.

Wind Energy Works! members voice this support and many actively speak up for wind. A few highlights follow.

  • Renewable Energy Long Island (RELI) launched a public education campaign. Massapequa native Alec Baldwin joined Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) Chairman Richard Kessel and RELI executive director Gordian Raacke to launch a public service campaign to highlight the benefits of LIPA's proposed offshore wind power park. Alec Baldwin's Public Service Announcement is at: http://www.renewableenergylongisland.org/media.cfm
     
  • Interfaith Power and Light wrote an Op-ed that ran in the Maine Press Herald (http://pressherald.mainetoday.com/viewpoints/mvoice/050909energy.shtml#) responding to an article dismissing renewable energy as a solution for our energy crisis. Interfaith Power and Lights Jonathan Chappell called for action, not paralysis, and pointed to wind power as one of the technologies that are not only well within our reach, but are here today.
     
  • Center for Resource Solutions issued a new report finding that California can meet 33% of electricity supply with wind and other renewable energy sources by 2020 with little or no increase in electric rates. Consumers might even see savings on their energy bills in the future. The report is available to the public on the Center for Resource Solutions website at: http://www.crs2.net/pub/Achieving_33_Percent_RPS_Report.pdf and on the California Public Utilities Commission website at: http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/.
     
  • National Resources Defense Council teamed with Participant Productions, one of the producers of the movie Syriana, and the Sierra Club to create an innovative public campaign called Oil Change, offering audiences smarter energy solutions that will lower energy bills and cut our dependence on oil. www.participate.net/oilchange.
     
  • Eight Wind Energy Works! members sent comments to the U.S. Department of Energy, in conjunction with a transmission study, asking that the study identify wind-rich regions that offer economic development along the transmission corridor and economical energy from wind power development.
     
  • Two members - Environment Texas and The Wind Coalition responded to an op-ed in the Corpus Christi Caller Times making false claims about wind powers subsidies, its contribution to local communities and its role as a viable energy source.
     
  • The Clean Energy Partnership in Maryland is fighting back against Not-In-My-Backyard (NIMBYs), promoting a letter-writing campaign favoring a proposed Virginia wind farm. http://www.cleanenergypartnership.org/news/article_detail.cfm?id=159
     
  • New wind video: The Alliance for Clean Energy New York released a seventeen-minute video featuring first-hand accounts from people living near wind farms and experts in the field energy and the environment. You can watch the video online at http://www.aceny.org/.
     
  • Op-ed, Burlington Free Press: Patty Richards, director of Resource Planning at the Burlington Electric Department, talks about why wind is a good fit in the utilitys portfolio.
     
  • The West Texas Wind Energy Consortium and The Wind Coalition held a press conference with state leaders promoting west Texas transmission to support wind power growth. New transmission lines supporting wind power growth could allow up to $1 billion of economic development benefits for Texas. The state of Texas is closely evaluating the best locations for wind power expansion in an approach to determine where to build new transmission lines. http://www.windcoalition.org/news_page.php?id=35.
     
  • Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) Clean Energy Program Director and Wind Energy Works! Steering Committee Member Alan Nogee placed an Op-ed on "Wind Works, Coal Pollutes" in the Pittsfield, Mass. Bershire Eagle. Nogee calls attention to the pollution and the destructive impacts that even the most advanced clean coal plants currently proposed would generate, and points out that wind energy is the least expensive zero-emission electricity generating option available today.
     
  • American Corn Growers Foundation CEO Dan McGuire placed an Op-ed in the High Plains Journal and other papers calling on the Western Governors Association to implement its 30,000 -MW clean energy goal and pointing out that wind power is one of the technologies most capable of meeting the goal in a rapid and cost-effective manner.

The coalition will continue to grow over the next year, according to AWEA and Wind Energy Works! coordinator Susan Williams Sloan. The interest in wind energy as a significant solution to our energy needs is bringing more people to the coalition. Wind Energy Works! increases the dialogue among the wind industry, advocates, and those who want to bring wind power to their communities.

A new Web site will be launched this summer to support the coalitions activities, providing discussion forums online so that coalition members can share ideas and information across the country. More joint events and educational activities are envisioned to build on members efforts. For more about the coalition, see www.windenergyworks.org.

About Wind Energy Works!

Wind Energy Works! is a new national alliance that will support wind energy development across the country. The coalition will engage the public debate over wind energy development with facts about its many benefits and counteract the growing spread of misinformation by wind energy opponents. Although initiated by the wind energy industry, its broad-based membership includes organizations and individuals representing many walks of life.

 

About the American Wind Energy Association

AWEA, formed in 1974, is the national trade association of the U.S. wind energy industry. The associationís membership includes turbine manufacturers, wind project developers, utilities, academicians, and interested individuals. More information on wind energy is available on the AWEA web site: www.awea.org

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