Letter: Wind energy's benefits

June 15, 2014 

We are charged with the protection of Southeast Washington's incredible natural beauty for future generations. Energy from wind power is one way we can work toward that goal while producing reliable, affordable electricity and moving our economy forward.

Washington's wind industry represents a $5.3 billion investment into the state's economy, and that number is set to keep growing.

At Walla Walla Community College's Wind Energy Technology program, we are preparing students for the new challenges that come with this innovative, mainstream energy source, and for good reason too.

This year, wind power will generate enough electricity to power more than 15 million homes across America, nearly 650,000 of those in Washington alone. Wind diversifies the grid, protecting us from spikes in fuel prices while strengthening our energy security.

Wind is providing skilled jobs in our recovering economy. Ask any of the thousands of Washingtonians working in wind manufacturing, operations, maintenance or education.

With jobs come opportunities for economic development and millions in tax revenues every year. Landowners in Washington collect more than $8 million a year in lease payments for hosting turbines on their property.

Smart, reliable and affordable, wind is a good deal for Washington and the country.

JAMES BRADSHAW, Walla Walla

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