Cross posted from Article XI
It is cliché to use the phrase, "I was in the right place at the right time," but today more than 300 people gathered in Virginia Beach because it is the right place and right time for Virginia to move forward with the development of offshore wind.
Offshore wind represents clean, renewable energy for Virginia. The winds blowing off our coast could power 750,000 homes in the Commonwealth within the next 15 years, but clean energy is not the only benefit of offshore wind.
Harnessing the energy of the wind has the potential to create thousands of good jobs for Virginians. From the building and maintenance associated with turbines in the seabed to the supply chain that manufactures the parts, if Virginia acts now we stand to reap huge economic gains from this burgeoning industry.
It's for these reasons that the Virginia Sierra Club has partnered with some unlikely allies, including Dominion Virginia Power and McGuire Woods, to host this wind conference. We realize the opportunity that offshore wind gives Virginia and we're committed to making it a reality.
Our number one priority at the Sierra Club is addressing climate change. To mitigate the worst impacts of climate change the United States, and indeed the entire world, will need to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels in the near future. To accomplish this requires that we bring renewable energy to scale. This means that we want to see major investments in efficiency, solar, wind and biomass that will gradually displace older more polluting sources of energy.
Building a clean energy future will require new ways of doing business for all of us. It means groups like the Sierra Club need to partner with and support the clean energy industry. That's why the Club took the lead on Virginia's first offshore wind conference. We are hopeful that today's conference will be an important step along the way to realizing a clean, renewable, profitable energy revolution in the Commonwealth.