U.S. Sens. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, are leading a bipartisan push for more federal wind energy funding.
In a letter to U.S. Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Merkley and Grassley tout the benefits of the wind industry in American innovation and job growth. Alexander and Feinstein are chairman and ranking member, respectively, of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development.
“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,” wrote Merkley and Grassley, along with a bipartisan group of other senators.
Specifically, they are seeking “robust” funding for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and the Wind Energy Program in FY2020 appropriations.
“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,” they wrote. “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 senators noted that the wind industry employs more than 100,000 Americans and 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.
The full text of the letter can be found here.