South Dakotan Veteran Travels to Washington to Promote Wind Energy
WASHINGTON, DC—Operation Free, a national coalition of veterans seeking to secure America with clean energy, today welcomed a local South Dakotan veteran to Washington, D.C. for a series of meetings with members of Congress and their staff. The fly-in is designed to educate lawmakers about the importance of extending the Wind Production Tax Credit (PTC). The veterans coming in predominantly work in the wind industry.
During the group’s two day visit, former South Dakota Air Guardsman Eric Gage will meet personally with the staffs of Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD) and Sen. John Thune (R-SD). Specifically, the meetings will focus on how extending the Wind PTC will create jobs in South Dakota and help meet America’s energy security goals.
“Wind-generated electricity diversifies our energy supply and reduces our dependence on fossil fuels, which strengthens our economic and national security,” said Operation Free spokesman, Mike Breen. “We are proud to stand with Eric, a South Dakota veteran who has traveled to our nation’s capital to help educate our members of Congress about the benefits of wind. These meetings provide a critical opportunity for veterans who found opportunities in the wind industry to interact one-on-one with their legislators and inform them about the issues that are most important to them and their state.”
The Wind PTC is due to expire at the end of this year unless Congress votes to renew it. Veterans hold a high percentage of the 75,000 jobs supported by the wind industry in the United States, which are at risk if the credit is allowed to lapse. .
“This is an important opportunity for veterans in the wind industry to speak directly with the policy makers in Washington about the benefits of clean, renewable wind energy,” said Eric Gage. “The wind industry creates good paying jobs for veterans in particular because the skills we developed in our service are sought after by clean energy companies. Extending the wind production tax credit will help boost our local economy and help South Dakota contribute to America’s energy security.”
Gage served ten years in the South Dakota Air Guard, specializing in ground combat, Law Enforcement, and Security. Gage was joined on his trip by veterans from California, Colorado, Illinois, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Florida, Arizona and Texas.
# # #
Operation Free is a national coalition of US military veterans working to send the message that America’s security relies on ending our addiction to oil and establishing clean, renewable sources of energy. Operation Free is a campaign of the Truman National Security Project.