Govs. Jay Inslee, D-Wash., and Terry Branstad, R-Iowa, sent a letter on behalf of the Governors' Wind Energy Coalition calling on the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee to reverse its decision to hamper long-term investment in research advancing American wind power.
‘The nation's long-term investment in research conducted by the Department of Energy's (DOE) energy programs, National Laboratories, our state universities and private companies around the nation has helped fuel the extraordinary growth of the nation's wind energy industry,’ the letter states. ‘As governors, we see the benefits this innovative research has brought to our states, including energy diversification and continual wealth generation in rural America.’
Cutting funding for wind energy research could leave untapped opportunities for new wind farm development and the economic benefits that come with it in all 50 states, especially in the Southeast, according to the letter; and the bill's elimination of funding for grid modernization restrains the U.S. from capitalizing on the full range of economic and environmental benefits gained by diversifying the U.S. electricity mix with homegrown wind energy.
The letter was sent to Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Thad Cochran and Vice Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski and refers to funding in the 2016 Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill set for the DOE's budget and used for research and technology innovation that has helped lower wind power's costs by 66% in the last six years.
To read the letter, click here.