In Midwestern State after Midwestern State are stories about the amazing progress that is being made with renewable wind and solar energy projects.
More than 35 percent of the state’s electricity comes from wind, which is the second-highest ranking in the nation, according to a 2017 DOE report released this week.
“Kansas has a lot of great open spaces, and land is available for wind development,” said Westar Energy spokeswoman Gina Penzig. “A lot of communities have been receptive to that development. The past 10 years to 12 years now, utilities including Westar and other utilities in the state have invested in the state’s transmission grid, which enables that wind when it’s developed out in western Kansas to get moved into the more populated areas.
“All of these different factors come together and really set the state up to be a national leader in wind energy.”
More than 18,400 Nebraska residents now work in clean energy industries in 92 out of 93 counties in the state, according to a new analysis of energy jobs data from Clean Energy Trust and the national, nonpartisan business group E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs).
Nebraska’s clean energy workforce now employs more than 5 times as many people than all the computer programmers and web developers in the state, according to Department of Labor Employment Statistics.
According to the report, Illinois saw a 7.6 percent growth in clean energy jobs between 2016 and 2017. Overall, the state now has nearly four times more workers in clean energy than fossil fuels.
In the past decade, 466 wind turbines have popped up across Wisconsin on 18 different wind farms.
A new wind farm in northwest Ohio has been built that will power General Motors manufacturing facilities in Ohio and Indiana.
The Northwest Ohio Wind Farm, based in Haviland, 30 miles east of Fort Wayne, is a 100-megawatt wind development. Officials said in a news release Wednesday that the wind farm will “help power all of GM’s Ohio and Indiana manufacturing facilities with clean, renewable energy.”
In addition to generating energy, the 42 wind turbines are expected to create 300 new jobs and 1 million dollars in property tax revenue.
RANDOLPH COUNTY, Ind. – Rural eastern Indiana will soon be home to a hefty, $300 million wind energy investment expected to be utilized in part by Facebook at its Midwest data center.
More than 50 new turbines will be built and installed throughout Randolph County in the coming year as part of an extensive investment by Houston-based alternative energy company EDP Renewables North America, the company announced Thursday.
Much of the energy produced by the turbines — enough to power about 52,000 homes annually — will be purchased by Facebook to power its massive New Albany (Ohio) Data Center, the company said. The social media giant agreed to buy 139 megawatts produced at the Headwaters II wind farm each year for the next 15 years
The facility will be Missouri’s biggest and will be made up of 175 American-made wind turbines.
An affiliate of renewable energy business Terra-Gen will build the wind farm in Adair and Schuyler counties, with ground-breaking on the project set for summer 2019.
The site will generate enough energy to power an estimated 120,000 homes by 2020. The service area of Ameren Missouri, a subsidiary of the Ameren Corporation, covers 64 counties.
Yet, with all of this new money being invested, with all of these new jobs being created, many of the politicians being elected in these States are not backing these projects. These are projects that are bringing money and jobs to their States. In addition, they are bringing clean energy. They are bringing less pollution and less CO2 that is causing climate change. Why not get behind these projects? Because the politicians who are standing in the way of progress are Republicans. And the Republican party has been bought off by the oil and gas industry.
Just look at the list of politicians who urged Donald Trump to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement, and agreement that would incentivize more clean energy investment:
The list includes:
Roy Blunt from Missouri
Pat Roberts from Kansas
Missouri and Kansas: not exactly oil and gas hubs, but prime places for wind and solar.
And consider how Midwestern Senators voted on the 2008 Bill to provide Alternative Energy Tax Incentives, which would have provided tax incentives for the production and use of alternative energy sources in addition to providing other tax incentives. If you are representing a State which could benefit by increasing production of wind and solar energy projects, as many Midwestern States have shown to be, why would you vote against this?
Well, these Midwestern Senators did vote against the bill, which ultimately failed due to a Republican filibuster:
These same Senators are big fans of tax incentives for literally every other corporation in the country. But for wind or solar projects? Nope.
And then there was what turned out to be the immensely consequential confirmation vote for Trump’s Nominee to head the EPA, Scott Pruit, a man whose entire history has been working for oil and gas companies, a man who, after he was confirmed, set out upon a scorched earth campaign against renewable energy and in favor of oil and gas.
These Midwestern Senators all voted in favor of the oil and gas man:
People of the Midwest, isn’t it about time to vote for representatives that will look out for your wishes instead of the wishes of the oil and gas industry? Our environment and economy would be quite thankful.