Veterans Day edition of WindTV: Jobs for vets and energy security
WindTV's focus this week is a special Veterans Day edition including contributions from former U.S. Army Gen. Wesley Clark, now working in the wind energy industry, and Army Major Mindy Kimball, a Gulf veteran who tells how she powers her electric SmartCar with wind energy.
Clark discusses how meaningful it is for returning Gulf veterans to find jobs making homegrown domestic energy here in the U.S. Kimball adds her thoughts on energy security, which led her to purchase an electric car and then to sign up for wind power through her local utility so that she could power it without fossil fuels.
“I am a strong believer in renewable energy,” states Clark in the video as he notes his support for wind as a domestic energy source. “In so many ways these veterans' lives have been personally affected by our dependence on foreign oil.
“Who better to help us get those wind farms up and running, install those turbines, than physically fit, capable, motivated veterans?” Clark adds of the good jobs wind energy provides for veterans returning home from overseas. “My son is a veteran and he has worked on wind projects. I know, I’ve been out there, I’ve been with him and there is something really special about being out there when you are putting up those big turbines and you’ve got the camaraderie and the sense of commitment and the risk – the need for safety and other precautions around this heavy equipment. It has a very, very familiar feel to most vets.
“This is a great opportunity for veterans to put their engineering mechanical skills, their self-discipline and their physical fitness all to work and to help American society as well.”
Because of their specialized training and leadership skills, many wind energy companies have recruiting programs designed specifically for veterans.
Wind power is creating one of the fastest-growing U.S. manufacturing sectors. Over the last six years, U.S. domestic production of wind turbine components has grown 12-fold to more than 400 facilities in 43 states, shifting manufacturing jobs from overseas back to the U.S.
“I am a military officer and I choose 100 percent wind power because I think it is right for America,” observes Kimball in the video, speaking beside her electric car in Washington, D.C. Kimball, who is now stationed in Arizona, notes that while in Washington she fueled her commute with wind power and used a local provider to buy wind power at home. In Arizona her electricity is a mix of solar, wind, and hydropower.
“After learning more about the use of natural resources in our world, I decided to educate myself about the best possible choices I could make, and I think wind is that choice,” Kimball states.
WindTV is a new showcase of video profiles of Americans whose lives have been positively impacted by the wind energy industry. The site, located at www.awea.org/windtv, features a different video profile each week.
“I want to thank General Clark, Major Kimball and all of our veterans for their service,” said AWEA CEO Denise Bode. “I am so proud of the work the wind industry is doing to provide jobs to veterans and a clean, homegrown source of energy. Thanks to the federal Production Tax Credit, a new manufacturing base is taking root—but the PTC is expiring soon. Congress must extend this credit so that the industry can keep growing, building, and creating good American jobs.”
Representatives Dave Reichert (R, WA-08) and Earl Blumenauer (D, OR-03) recently introduced legislation (H.R. 3307, the “American Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit Extension Act”) that seeks to grant a four-year extension to the existing Production Tax Credit for wind energy.
Clark, now Chairman of Emergya Wind Technologies Americas, also recently endorsed the legislation to extend wind’s key federal tax incentive, saying, "Wind and other clean domestic energy sources are critical to our national security as global competition for resources intensifies. This bill will keep domestic clean energy manufacturing growing, and strengthen our economic security."
To learn more about the story of wind power, General Clark and Major Kimball, go to WindTV.
Broadcast-quality footage for local TV affiliates is available upon request or on PATHFIRE; In the DMG Content Provider Panel, select News, Video News Feeds, VNF Provider A.; Select the tab “Veterans Day-Wind Energy”; Double-click on the Slug to preview the package contents.