Recent Press Releases

Washington, D.C. —  Senator John Thune hosted a meeting with the top leaders in the wind energy industry in his Washington, D.C. office yesterday. Senator Thune and the Leadership Council of the American Wind Energy Association discussed the on-going energy bill debate and the Senator's legislative initiatives to advance the production and transmission of clean, renewable wind energy. The leaders present at the meeting included the world's largest wind developers and turbine manufacturers.

"This was a very productive and informative meeting with the leaders of the wind energy industry. At a time when America is dangerously reliant on foreign sources of energy, the promise of clean, renewable wind energy is something I will continue to promote," said Thune. "States like South Dakota have the wind resources to meet a considerable share of our nation's electrical demand, but until now, have lacked the necessary infrastructure."

The group discussed the need for a long-term extension of the production tax credit (PTC), boosting transmission infrastructure, and other renewable energy issues. Earlier this year, Senator Thune was successful in getting his Clean Energy Corridors amendment included in the Senate-passed Energy Bill. Thune's amendment would promote the creation of energy corridors that would facilitate the transference of wind energy generated in South Dakota to high-demand regions in urban areas.

Senator Thune has also introduced legislation to extend the PTC and expand the Clean Renewable Energy Bond program. Both provisions may be included in the final version of the energy bill, which has been at a standstill for several weeks.

"This legislation is critical to promoting the development of wind energy in South Dakota and around the country. As the windiest state in the nation, South Dakota will greatly benefit from these provisions. We have the wind energy in South Dakota that the major power consumers in our nation need. The missing link is transmission infrastructure to deliver this power," Thune said.

Over the coming years, both wind developers and manufacturers of wind turbines are expected to increase their investment in the United States. Senator Thune invited the leaders of these companies to visit South Dakota and encouraged them to consider South Dakota for future wind development and manufacturing facilities.