Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Clean Power

Modern Day Don Quixotes Fight to Save Wind Power Tax Credit

In a real-life riff on Don Quixote, a group of military veterans has come to Congress not to tilt at windmills but to fight for them. Organized by the veterans clean energy coalition Operation Free, the group is lobbying for extension of the wind tax credit. Their support of wind power is based on the national security threat posed by oil dependency, a threat that is bound to intensify unless the U.S. gets serious about transitioning to more secure and reliable forms of energy. Most of the group’s members are also employed in the wind industry and they come with another equally important message for Congress about creating new jobs and easing the high unemployment rate for veterans.

military veterans lobby Congress for wind power tax credit

The Wind Tax Credit, National Security, and Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

In a prepared statement, Operation Free spokesman Mike Breen explained the connection between wind, security, and employment:

“Wind-generated electricity diversifies our energy supply and reduces our dependence on fossil fuels, which strengthens our economic and national security. We are proud to stand with these Texan veterans who have traveled to our nation’s capital to help educate our members of Congress about the benefits of wind. These meetings provide a critical opportunity for veterans who found job opportunities in the wind industry….”

Operation Free, btw, is an initiative of the Truman National Security Project, an institute for progressive leadership on national security. CleanTechnica readers may recall that documentary filmmaker Roger Sorkin, a fellow at the Truman Project, is working on a new film that lays out the burden of oil dependency on national security and on soldiers, their families, and their communities.


Support Our Troops!

Along with supporting the wind tax credit, from the get-go, the Obama Administration has pushed hard to support Department of Defense initiatives that reduce oil dependency and create new jobs, by kickstarting the development of the clean energy sector. Solar power is already becoming ubiquitous at military facilities both in the U.S. and overseas, and new advances in radar technology will enable more wind power for military facilities, too.

Another early Obama Administration initiative was the Recovery Act, which focused millions of dollars on new job-creating clean energy projects in the civilian sector. For the wind industry, that has included federal support for a public-private partnership that trains military veterans for wind industry careers.

According to the Truman Project, veterans hold a “high percentage” of jobs in the wind industry, which currently stands at about 75,000.

The matchup of veterans and wind power makes sense when you consider the broad range of technical skills required of today’s geared-up military personnel. Depending on the job, some degree of physical stamina and training also comes in handy in the wind industry (just take a look at The Weather Channel’s “Turbine Cowboys” and you’ll see).

Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory

According to the latest reports, the U.S. wind and solar industries have been growing at an impressive clip. They are positioned for explosive growth, which could launch the U.S. into global leadership of the clean energy sector.

However, the lack of support for extending the wind tax credit by Republican leadership in Congress has already had a significant negative effect on the domestic wind industry in recent months, and it appears to be set for a free-fall if Congress fails to act.

It remains to be seen whether Operation Free can change some minds and snatch victory back from the jaws of defeat. By the middle of this week, the group had reportedly confirmed meetings with 32 members of the House and Senate, all but two belonging to the Republican party (here’s the list, and while they’re at it they might want to drop in on the Romney campaign office, too).

Image: Don Quixotesome rights reserved by liber

Follow me on Twitter: @TinaMCasey

Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Former Tesla Battery Expert Leading Lyten Into New Lithium-Sulfur Battery Era — Podcast:

I don't like paywalls. You don't like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it! We just don't like paywalls, and so we've decided to ditch ours. Unfortunately, the media business is still a tough, cut-throat business with tiny margins. It's a never-ending Olympic challenge to stay above water or even perhaps — gasp — grow. So ...
If you like what we do and want to support us, please chip in a bit monthly via PayPal or Patreon to help our team do what we do! Thank you!
Written By

Tina specializes in military and corporate sustainability, advanced technology, emerging materials, biofuels, and water and wastewater issues. Views expressed are her own. Follow her on Twitter @TinaMCasey and Spoutible.


You May Also Like


USMC Base Camp Lejeune has become a national solar energy and energy storage showcase featuring new LFP battery technology.


Woke or not, the US Army has invested $10 million in new silicon battery technology.

Green Economy

The Benefits of a Regenerative Approach The switch to a carbon-free economy is the biggest economic opportunity of our era. The International Energy Agency...

Clean Power

"The Green Jobs Boom Is Benefiting the People Who Need It Most. As the US races toward climate resilience, a hiring bonanza is taking...

Copyright © 2023 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.