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USW hopes to accelerate wind energy production

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The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) and the United Steelworkers (USW) have released a joint “Framework Agreement” to create a “Partnership for Progress” in accelerating the development and deployment of wind energy production in the U.S.

“The Framework Agreement we’re announcing is the beginning of a road map to help ensure that our nation makes real progress in developing alternative and renewable sources of energy production on a scale that is commensurate with its vast potential,” USW International President Leo Gerard said in a statement released on Thursday.

“We expect this framework will help advance the promise of green jobs being key to our future,” Gerard added. “The nation cannot continue to fall behind other countries on clean energy manufacturing. America must be a global leader and establish new manufacturing jobs. If we do not act quickly on this opportunity through federal leadership and industry commitment, we will have done a disservice to our citizens. The Framework Agreement is designed to create a Partnership for Progress that doesn’t accept second place, and instead puts the U.S. at the leading edge of clean energy manufacturing.”

“Our partnership recognizes that, at this time of continuing economic uncertainty and while we are still in the early stages of development of the wind energy sector, support in terms of public policy initiatives is vital,” AWEA CEO Denise Bode said.

In the coming days, AWEA and the USW will release a cooperative action agenda they intend to jointly pursue and advocate for adoption by Congress and the Obama Administration, the statement said. That agenda will include policies such as a federal Renewable Electricity Standard and the extension of necessary tax incentives.

The Framework Agreement has four components, Gerard said. “First the agreement calls for an initial assessment of exactly where we are. On any journey, it’s vital that you know where you’re starting from. Second, it calls for results-oriented targets that identify the destination. Third, to get us from here to there, it creates a partnership on a public policy agenda with the goal of enhancing the expansion of domestic supply chains and ensuring that we have the qualified and skilled workers we need. During the journey, it lastly calls for periodic assessments to ensure that the effort stays on track.”

“Wind works for America,” Bode said. “This framework represents the vast majority of the wind energy sector and is the first major player in the energy industry to clearly show its commitment to utilizing domestically located sources of supply. The American people expect and deserve to have their elected leaders support public policy initiatives that will ensure that all of our goals can be met together. Job creation and long-term economic growth in this sector require the support of a comprehensive public policy agenda. That public policy agenda will require some federal resources, but most importantly, it will require the national commitment to clean and green energy that is essential to the future of the industry. Our partnership will help achieve these goals.”

“The Steelworkers recognize that a stable and secure financial climate allowing AWEA members to plan for the future, while getting the capital to achieve those plans, is a necessary ingredient to expanded utilization of domestic supply chains,” Gerard said. “USW members, as with all Americans, want to know that we will take every step necessary to create a plan for long-term economic growth. Short-term stimulus must be followed up by ensuring that we will be able to reclaim the American Dream.”

“The vision of AWEA’s leadership, its board, and its members has helped bring us to this point,” Gerard added. “The Partnership for Progress we have created with this Framework Agreement between AWEA and the Steelworkers can serve as a model for other industries. As our union and its members talk to their political leaders, they will urge not only support for the public policy agenda to fuel the development of the wind energy sector, but that with limited federal resources available to policymakers, priority be given to those sectors that recognize the challenges facing our nation.”

Visit http://listserv.steelworkers.org/t/174660/1206326/137246/0/

for a summary of the Framework Agreement.

 

Posted 6/11/2010

 

 

 

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