National Wildlife Federation calls offshore wind energy America's golden opportunity in new report

Praises Massachusetts, Cape Wind and other forward thinking organizations

The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) today released a 56-page report calling for the United States to begin aggressively pursing what the organization sees as America's golden opportunity.  Offshore wind energy, according to the NWF, means jobs, economic growth and clean air for our country's future.  And this can all be achieved in a secure and wildlife-friendly way, according to the lead author of the report, Catherine Bowes. 

 "America's Atlantic coast has some of the best offshore wind energy resources in the world, the technology to harvest it is ready right now, and we have workers ready to do the job," said Bowes, NWF's senior manager for new energy solutions.

The study, entitled "The Turning Point for Atlantic Offshore Wind Energy: Time for Action to Create Jobs, Reduce Pollution, Protect Wildlife & Secure America's Energy Future", was released in association with 45 partner organizations--both local and national-- along the Atlantic Coast including Mass Audubon, Conservation Law Foundation, the Sierra Club and Oceana.

According to the study, harnessing 52 gigawatts of "already-identified" available wind energy could generate $200 billion in economic activity, create 300,000 jobs and power 14 million homes.

The study reviews the long road towards offshore energy independence and applauds the local efforts and progress made by Cape Wind, Governor Deval Patrick and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  Of Cape Wind, the study says, "the Cape Wind project proposed for Massachusetts is within sight of the finish line and expected to begin construction in 2013."  Last month, Cape Wind President Jim Gordon announced the purchase of East Marine in Falmouth--the new headquarters for the Nantucket Sound wind farm project.

Cape Wind has lead the way, overcoming obstacle after obstacle and clearing the path for offshore wind projects in other states along the Atlantic Coast including Rhode Island and New Jersey. 

According to NWF, the federal government has made significant progress in advancing offshore wind energy projects along the Atlantic Coast.  Task forces are under way in ten states to ensure coordination among state, federal, local and tribal officials and over 2,000 square nautical miles has been designated for wind energy development off six states including Massachusetts.

But although the country is moving forward, NWF calls for more political leaders to get behind the clean energy industry and make offshore wind a reality for America.

In addition to clean energy and the economy, of wildlife safety, the NWF report states, "Dramatically cutting carbon pollution--by replacing dirty energy with clean alternatives like offshore wind--is the best path forward if we are to protect coastal and marine wildlife from these dangers of a warming world." This can be achieved, according to NWF if "leasing decisions are based on sound science and informed by key experts and stakeholders."

Read the report in its entirety here.

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