Industry Group Launches Pro-Wind Effort

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The new Climate Bill is on deck in the House of Representatives — and, with President Obama pushing to double alternative electricity sourcing in the next three years, players are lining up to keep within the bill standards requiring that 25% of electric

An industry group, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), has

launched an effort this week to support such a standard and to urge

lawmakers to create an energy-production tax credit. The group says

such moves would go a long way toward putting people who have lost

their automotive jobs back to work.

The organization, which says wind power grew 50% in 2008 — an amount

roughly the size of Nebraska’s installed capacity, or two million homes

— argues that wind farm projects could create hundreds of thousands of

American jobs, and billions in revenue. Per AWEA, the wind industry

last year created 35,000 new jobs and generated $17 billion in economic


To back the argument, AWEA has launched a series of documentary-type

Web videos, and TV and print ads in its push to raise awareness about

wind energy with a pragmatic pitch that suggests auto’s loss is wind’s


Ads in The Washington Post

and on NBC’s “Meet the Press” show American workers — many that it

says were former employees of the U.S. automotive industry — working

at Cardinal Fastener, a Bedford Heights, Ohio-based firm that makes

bolts for wind turbines and other industrial products. The association

says 55 such facilities were built last year to support the growth in

wind energy technology.

The commercial shows people on the factory floor doing iron work to

fashion bolts and fittings, cut with footage of gigantic turbines being

lifted into place on cranes and spinning in the wind on mountain

ridges. The effort urges people to go to and urge

Congress to pass renewable electricity standards.

The webisodes comprise interviews in the Cardinal plant with workers

who lost jobs in the auto sector. One has an operator — a thread

roller — talking about how he lost his job at an auto supplier. “When

I started there, we had 120 employees,” he says. “When I was finally

let go, they were down to twenty. For a person of my age, it was

devastating knowing that there was a possibility there wasn’t going to

be another job.”

In the video, Cardinal’s president John Grabner likens the wind

industry’s potential growth to that of the auto business in better

times. “This is an industry starting with nothing and growing to big,

big numbers,” he says. Another employee ties it to the environment and

less reliance on foreign oil. “I love to go fishing, so I like clean

water for my fish.”

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