Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley has been named a U.S. Wind Champion for the 115th Congress by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). AWEA is presenting U.S. Wind Champion Awards to select members of the 115th Congress who have taken action in support of American wind energy.
The award ceremony is a highlight of American Wind Week, August 5 to 11, a national celebration of U.S. leadership in wind power.
“It’s an honor to receive this award from America’s leading wind-energy advocates. Wind is a critical part of our nation’s all-of-the-above energy strategy. It creates thousands of jobs, generates billions of dollars across Iowa and the nation, it’s safe for the environment and it helps ensure American energy independence,” Grassley said. “Wind is an efficient, cost-effective energy alternative. I’m proud to support wind energy and I’ll continue to do what I can in the Senate to help it grow and flourish.”
Iowa is a national leader for wind power. Last year, wind farms generated 37% of the electricity produced in Iowa, a larger share than any other state. There are 8,000 Iowa wind workers and the state’s wind industry represents over $14.2 billion in private investment. Wind energy is also a new drought-proof cash crop for Iowa farmers, with land lease payments totaling $20 to 25 million each year.
“Senator Grassley is known to many as ‘the father of wind energy,” said Tom Kiernan, CEO of AWEA. “His vision and decades of tireless support for America’s wind workers forged wind power into a major pillar of U.S. energy production, Iowa’s economy, and rural communities across the nation. Our industry is honored to recognize Sen. Grassley as an outstanding Wind Champion.”
This year marks the second annual celebration of American Wind Week, following the emergence of wind as America’s largest source of renewable energy capacity in 2017.
“The customers and communities we serve directly benefit from wind,” said Patricia Kampling, chairman and CEO of Alliant Energy, host of this American Wind Week event where the award was presented. “In Iowa, we’re spending around $2 billion on new wind through 2020 that will provide economic benefits for decades to come. We thank Senator Grassley for his leadership in growing Iowa’s wind energy economy.”
The U.S. is a global leader in wind power thanks to world-class natural resources and technological innovation. For Americans from sea to shining sea, wind power leadership translates to economic opportunity, homegrown energy, and clean air. A record 105,000 Americans work in wind power, affordably and reliably supplying over 6% of U.S. electricity, and creating clean air benefits worth more than $8 billion each year.