October 20, 2016
By John Quinn, LaborPress USA
North Kingstown, RI – Labor leaders from across New England, New York, and along the Atlantic coast on October 14th toured Deepwater Wind’s Block Island Wind Farm off the coast of Rhode Island, getting a first-hand look at America’s first offshore wind turbines and hearing how the project has already created over 300 local jobs. Sen. Jack Reed (R-DI) also joined the tour, organized by Rhode Island Building and Construction Trades Council, BlueGreen Alliance, and National Wildlife Federation.
“By visiting America’s first offshore wind farm up close and talking directly to the people who built it, environmental and labor leaders witnessed together the beginning of a new chapter in our nation’s energy story” said Catherine Bowes, senior manager for Climate and Energy at National Wildlife Federation. “Offshore wind energy is a golden opportunity to reduce pollution, create thousands of local jobs, stabilize electric rates, and protect people and wildlife from climate change.”
Offshore wind power is America’s largest untapped clean energy opportunity. Countries around the world are mobilizing to tap into this booming global offshore wind industry that currently supports over 75,000 jobs in both coastal and inland communities overseas. A recent Department of Energy analysis found that a robust offshore wind industry in the U.S. could support over 160,000 jobs by 2050.
“The quality jobs created by this project are a great start for America’s offshore wind industry,” said Michael G. Williams, vice president of strategic development for the BlueGreen Alliance. “Rhode Island residents and its environment will be benefitting for years to come from the clean energy these turbines will generate. This project is yet another example of how good, union jobs can be created by America’s clean energy economy, with hopefully much more to come in both construction and manufacturing.”