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September 27, 2012

A Tour to Save Wind Industry Jobs

BGA wind1
Ryan Motel, a furloughed wind industry worker, speaks at a Pittsburgh press conference during the "Save American Jobs Tour" by the Blue Green Alliance.

The Blue Green Alliance (a partnership of 14 of the country's largest unions and environmental organizations -- including the Sierra Club) has been touring the Midwest and East Coast this week to show support for the wind production tax credit, which is currently languishing in Congress.

This "Save American Jobs Tour" is highlighting the tremendous number of layoffs in the wind industry in the past few months -- more than 2,000 jobs -- due to Congress' hemming and hawing on renewing the valuable wind production tax credit.

The past month alone has been brutal for layoffs: In just over one month, wind manufacturers in the U.S. have announced layoffs of more than 1,130 workers around the country.

"Without the Production Tax Credit, the U.S. wind industry stands to lose significant ground, and America will lose our edge in the global competition for good jobs," said Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club. "By failing to act, we'd be putting the brakes on both a growing industry and an important alternative energy source. We can reduce pollution, make America more energy independent and leave a lasting positive environmental and economic legacy for future generations if we renew this job-creating tax incentive today."

The American Wind Energy Association estimates that the Production Tax Credit will allow the wind industry to grow from 75,000 current jobs to over 100,000 jobs in four years and will continue toward supporting 500,000 jobs by 2030.

BGA wind2The Blue Green Alliance's tour this week includes a furloughed worker from a central Pennsylvania wind turbine blade plant, along with local wind workers on the ground and labor and environmental leaders in several states.

The tour will make stops in Pittsburgh, Pa., Columbus and Dayton, Ohio and Kalamazoo, Mich. with a final stop in Richmond, Va. The photo at the left are two members of the tour standing near a wind turbine at the Blue Creek Wind Farm in Ohio. You can follow along with the tour on the Blue Green Alliance's blog.

Learn more about the wind energy production tax credit on the Sierra Club website and on the Blue Green Alliance website.

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