The Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition has appointed Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad and Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo as the group’s new chair and vice chair, respectively, for the 2016 term.
‘I look forward to working with Governor Raimondo and our coalition colleagues to help the wind energy industry diversify our nation’s energy portfolio and drive economic development in our states,’ says Branstad, who previously served as the coalition’s vice chair. “We will continue to share best practices across the states and work with federal leaders to deliver stability and predictability in supportive federal policies.”
According to the coalition, Branstad’s state of Iowa remains a wind energy leader. In 2014, 28.5% of the energy produced in Iowa came from wind, and the state’s wind energy leadership stems from supportive policies dating back to 1983, the governor’s first year in office.
Meanwhile, Raimondo’s state of Rhode Island has positioned itself as a leader in offshore wind energy. The coalition says the Block Island Wind Farm is opening new markets for private-sector job creation and cleaner power and illustrates the innovative approach Rhode Island has taken to lower energy costs and diversify energy supplies.
“As the governor of the first state in the nation to develop offshore wind resources, I look forward to working with other governors to expand offshore wind, and to collaborating with states in other parts of the nation to open new markets for wind power,” says Raimondo. “Wind power expansion will create jobs, diversify our energy sources, and ensure long-term energy affordability.”
Branstad and Raimondo both thank Washington Gov. Jay Inslee for his leadership as the former coalition chair and for his national advocacy for renewable energy.
Photo courtesy of the Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition: Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad