Bill Gunderson’s recent column claims to offer “facts about wind energy,” but provides quite the opposite (“Some basic facts about wind energy,” Web, Saturday).
Mr. Gunderson’s version of wind power is skewed by outdated, unreliable information. As a lifelong Republican who worked for former House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, I know the importance of creating pro-growth policies that encourage the development of our natural energy resources. I am all for an all-of-the-above energy policy, including coal, natural gas, and nuclear, as well as renewables. But I also support a continuation of policies that drive money into people’s pockets. These are the policies that will help our country remain economically competitive while maintaining our global leadership in energy development.
Our nation has abundant wind resources. By encouraging their development, we can create a reliable, cost-effective electric grid. The private sector agrees and has been the driving force behind wind-power development — especially in many traditionally “red” states. In fact, $25 billion of private investment flowed into wind-energy development last year alone. That investment occurred because, contrary to Mr. Gunderson’s column, investors know that wind power works as intended.
A recent report by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory demonstrated how technology has improved the productivity of wind turbines while greatly reducing operating and maintenance costs. In fact, the cost of wind power has dropped by more than 90 percent since 1980 and continues to fall, helping to make it more attractive to utilities while enhancing its competitiveness.
Which do you trust: research-lab data confirmed by investors with billions of dollars on the line, or claims made with no supporting data? More than 550 facilities in 44 states are now involved in the wind-component-manufacturing supply chain. Nearly 70 percent of the content of the average wind turbine installed in the United States is domestically produced, and 75,000 Americans now work in the wind industry. It is an American success story we can applaud.
Executive Director, Red State Renewable Alliance