Lean, mean, fighting machine. That is what the US military is known for on the battlefield.
Now, military veterans are taking the fight for wind jobs to Washington, DC.
Earlier this week, Operation Free, a group consisting of military veterans concerned about the security risks over climate change and fossil fuel use — along with the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), Senator Mark Udall (D-Colorado), Representative Steve King (R-Iowa), Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), and Representative Jerry McNerney (D-California) — demanded that Congress take action to extend the Production Tax Credit (PTC).
This week, also, veterans met with their local congressional representatives in Washington to drum up further support for the wind energy tax credit.
The PTC has been vital in helping to get the US wind industry off the ground in its infancy and helping to create thousands of jobs (during a time when other industries have been suffering from the recession).
“Our industry is proud to employ so many servicemen and women in our ranks,” said American Wind Energy Association CEO Denise Bode in a statement.
“A diversified energy portfolio that includes wind power is a path to U.S. energy security. Congress needs to act swiftly to protect the 37,000 jobs at stake and restore stability to this critical and broadly supported industry.”
Military veterans, through leadership skills in the battlefield, are also providing those same skills in the wind industry.
“Work in wind energy offers vets the opportunity to use a wide variety of skills they learned in the military, such as risk analysis, problem-solving and contract negotiation, and we’re happy to have them as members of our team,” said the Vice President of Wind Development at NextEra Energy Resources, John DiDonato.
Meanwhile, thousands of veterans have signed a petition to keep the PTC, with 400 of those signatures coming from those working in the industry.
In order to raise further awareness among the public, a new website, savewindjobs.com, hopes to educate the public further on the importance of the PTC. The new site has fact sheets, along with a video showing how wind energy jobs have helped to boost the US middle class in hard times.
With time ticking away, will US military veterans help sway the tide towards keeping the PTC, while helping to shore up the infant wind industry?