Republicans and Renewables. Really.

I wouldn’t pretend that the American Wind Energy Association is without bias, but they put together compelling numbers in their article, Republicans know wind energy is a good deal. Take a look at the article, which includes this quote “[Republicans] see the clean energy sources delivering cheap electricity, bolstering America’s energy independence and fueling economic development in impoverished rural areas.

It also refers to an interesting map, Wind Thrives on Republican Turf – “The 10 congressional districts that produce the most wind energy are represented by Republicans.” A September blog post on The Hill notes, "...Republican-represented districts host 86 percent of the total wind farm fleet in America. As a result, the majority of the economic benefits of growing wind farms – including wind-related jobs, billions of dollars in private investment, and added tax revenue used to improve local infrastructure – widely benefit rural communities with a strong presence of typically Republican voters." 

Three of the seven counties in OPPD Subdivision 4 can see Iowa, heavily invested in wind, across their eastern border. Iowa GOP Senator Chuck Grassley said late last month that “[f]or Iowans … wind energy has created many jobs in construction, manufacturing and maintenance — and it supplements the incomes of farmers.” He added, “Everything about alternative energy is good, good, good, good.” 

Nebraska Congressman Fortenberry, who sits on the Congressional House Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee and represents much of the geographic area of OPPD Subdivision 4 favors renewable energy, as I noted before His recent note to constituents, Fort Report: Husker Solar Power correctly points out renewable energy is a natural resource delivering benefits to Nebraskans.

Wind is increasing as part of the generation portfolio in Nebraska because public power is now working in partnership with private enterprise. This partnership not only allows the private enterprise to take advantage of wind subsidies not available to public power alone, but also generates local property holder income and a new tax revenue to the county – theoretically at least (depending on the spending actions of the county commissioners) keeping property taxes lower for the rest of us. “Good, good, good, good,” to quote Senator Grassley.

The US DOE's year-by-year map below speaks volumes about Nebraska's rate of adoption of wind power compared to other nearby states. Interesting, especially in context of the DOE map of Potential Wind Capacity.


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