A Native American leader from southern California is promoting wind power as a valuable tool for her tribe’s economic development and environmental stewardship strategies.
Monique La Chappa, chairwoman of the Campo Kumeyaay Nation in San Diego County, said on Sunday that the first wind farm the tribe developed was so successful that another wind farm is currently being planned.
La Chappa said in a newspaper article that wind power is clean, creates jobs and wealth, preserves habitat and poses no national security threats.
Although many politicians in the US are still in denial about global warming and the nation’s frightening addiction to expensive, imported oil, President Barack Obama’s government continues promoting the development of an offshore wind sector.
The latest evidence of the government’s realisation that wind power can help mitigate climate change, provide increased energy security and be part of a new green economy occurred earlier this week with an announcement that $50.5 million (€37.1 mn) has been earmarked to support the offshore sector.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Energy Secretary Steven Chu said the money will be used for projects that support offshore wind power deployment and several high priority wind energy areas off the mid-Atlantic coast “that will spur rapid, responsible development of this abundant renewable resource.”
Representatives of the EU and the US agreed that a global climate change treaty is necessary and achievable at a debate Wednesday. However, while the EU saw achieving US legislation on the matter as crucial, the American line, surprisingly, was to dismiss the relevance of domestic climate change legislation.
Jos Delbeke, the European Commission’s Director General for Climate Change, expressed the EU’s disappointment at the lack of progress on the US legislation issue, particularly on the falling through of a proposed cap and trade scheme on carbon emissions.
“We would have liked to create a trans-Atlantic carbon market”, he said, adding that it was hard to see how the US would reach the 17% emission reduction target confirmed at the Cancun summit without a cap and trade system.
The US wind power sector received two huge endorsements last week involving the first proposed offshore wind farm in the country and the nation’s favourite building.
Cape Wind, a 130 turbine project that was first proposed a decade ago, received its final permit from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Friday, allowing it to begin work on the 468 MW wind farm in Nantucket Sound, Massachusetts.
In a press release, Cape Wind President Jim Gordon said the permit represents 10 years of work for the company and 17 federal and state agencies.
Offshore wind power along U.S. coastlines has a gross potential generating capacity four times greater than the nation’s present electric capacity, a new report by a national laboratory has found.
Saying that harnessing “this large and inexhaustible resource” can help mitigate climate change, increase energy security, and stimulate the U.S. economy, the report said that 54 GW of offshore wind power could be built by 2030.
Conducted by the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the study — called “Large-Scale Offshore Wind Power In The United States” — found that offshore wind could help the nation meet 20% of its electricity demand in two decades.