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article imageGovernor's letter to Trump — Support solar and wind energy

By Karen Graham     Feb 15, 2017 in Environment
The Governors’ Wind & Solar Energy Coalition, a renewable energy advocacy group headed by bipartisan Govs. Gina Raimondo, D-RI, and Sam Brownback, R-Kan, sent a letter to President Trump on Tuesday, urging him to support renewable energy sources.
The bipartisan group is comprised of governors from across the nation, including Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Virginia, and Washington.
In the letter to the president, the coalition pointed out that when it comes to creating jobs and using innovation to improve the energy sector, he doesn't have to look very far to make America great again because renewable energy is already making the country great.
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U.S. Department of Energy
The governors say they can already see what is happening in their states as solar, wind, and other renewables are creating thousands of jobs, giving concrete evidence that "renewables are providing a direct economic boost."
"Members of the Coalition have seen the benefits of renewable energy firsthand, and agree that expanding renewable energy production is one of the best ways to meet the country’s growing demand for energy," read the letter, according to Green Tech Media.
The letter cites figures that show rural landowners are paid more than $222 million a year by U.S. Wind Farm facilities, with more than $156 million going to landowners in areas with below-average incomes. Additionally, $100 billion has been invested in low-income counties, which by the way, are where almost 70 percent of wind farms are located.
File photo of the solar panels.
File photo of the solar panels.
U.S. Department of Energy
These are figures that the American public needs to hear about, and most mainstream media overlooks. And it fits with Trump's idealistic promise to make the country great, although it has always been a great country. But by supporting renewables, thousands of coal miners and others in need of jobs could be put to work instead of waiting around for the coal jobs that will never come.
Basically, the coalition's letter makes it very clear - If Trump wants to live up to his promise of keeping jobs in America, he can't ignore domestic renewables.
To that end, according to the Solar Industry Magazine, the coalition has four simple requests for the president and Congress:
Grid modernization: Citing the “complexity of the nation’s aging, multi-state grid,” the coalition says the U.S. should look into the “electrical transmission challenges that a large expansion of renewable energy production will create.” They ask that a federal task force be created to look into ways to “modernize and streamline state and federal regulatory processes.”
Offshore wind: Noting the “development challenges” of offshore wind power in comparison to onshore wind – including obtaining federal permits and overcoming “other logistic efforts,” the coalition thinks "specific federal policy foundations" are necessary to spur the industry.
A beautiful sight off the coast of Block Island  Rhode Island.
A beautiful sight off the coast of Block Island, Rhode Island.
Deepwater Wind
Research and Development: The group points out that both public and private research, including the U.S. Energy Department Labs, has helped to speed the "extraordinary growth of renewables." Trump is being encouraged to continue funding for R&D programs so that the U.S. doesn't cede leadership in these critical technologies to other nations,” such as China.
Permitting: Lastly, says the letter, due to “unworkable wildlife regulations,” it is sometimes a struggle to get permits for wind and solar farms. They are asking that the administration “direct assistant secretary-level appointees from key agencies to meet quarterly on progress and remaining barriers” to these permits.
The group adds, “The growth of the renewable energy industry is an American success story built on federal research and development, state policy leadership, private-sector investment, and ingenuity.”
More about coalition of state governors, letter to president Trump, support renewables, solar and wind power, bipartisan agreement
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