Rural Americans possess overwhelmingly favorable impressions of wind energy development and the potential for such development to create jobs and economic opportunities in rural communities. For example, the Center for Rural Affairs released a poll in April, conducted by the Global Strategy Group, which found that a strong majority of Nebraska voters (79%) favors requiring electric utilities to use renewable energy sources for at least 20% of the electricity they generate. And we’re not alone in that thinking.
The BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has created even more concerns over our nation’s energy future and even greater hopes that rural communities will be able to share in the economic opportunity of developing renewable sources to help meet America’s energy needs - rural Iowa would see the lion’s share of as many as 9,011 jobs, $53 million per year in payments to landowners and $89 million annually in additional local property tax revenues as a result of a 20 percent renewable electricity standard.
From Imperial, Nebraska to Dougherty, Iowa... strong support for wind energy and a 20 percent renewable electricity standard knows no geographic, political or demographic bounds. The BP spill and hope for continued economic recovery are also spurring federal action, with talk of Congress taking up energy legislation this summer. Those of us who want to see those renewable energy jobs and economic opportunities become a reality, need to make it known that we support a strong, 20 percent renewable electricity standard.
The Center for Rural Affairs was established in 1973 by rural Nebraskans concerned about family farms and rural communities, and we work to strengthen small businesses, family farms and ranches, and rural communities.