Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) are leading a bipartisan push for reliable wind energy funding in the 2020 funding bills, touting the benefits of the wind industry in American innovation and job growth.
“This funding is necessary in order to continue supporting rural communities, advance domestic energy independence, and ensure America remains a leader in wind energy technology,” the Senators wrote in a letter to the top Senators on the Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee.
“The Wind Energy Program has a proven record of accomplishment in supporting research and technology development at national laboratories that improves the efficiency of U.S. wind power and lowers consumer costs. As new markets for wind energy and technology open in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East, the U.S. should aim to be the exporter of technology, innovation, and equipment, not cede technological innovations to governments overseas,” the letter continued.
The Senators noted that the wind industry employs more than 100,000 Americans, and wind turbine technician is America’s second-fastest growing job. The wind industry also employs veterans at a rate that is 50% higher than the national average. “If we continue to invest in wind, this American success story will continue,” the Senators concluded.
Merkley and Grassley were joined on the letter by a bipartisan group of 17 Senators, including Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Michael Rounds (R-SD), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Tina Smith (D-MN), Angus King (I-ME), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Jack Reed (D-RI), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Tom Carper (D-DE).
Read the full letter here.