For Immediate Release
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Contact:  Dan McGuire (402) 489-1346

Wind Energy Works as an Integral Part of Future Farm Policy

Author: Dan McGuire CEO-American Corn Growers Foundation (ACGF)
WASHINGTON, June 4, 2007—“Farm and commodity groups have come together to support progressive wind energy policies as a result of the ACGF-ACGA Wealth From The Wind program. The American Agricultural Wind Coalition (AAWC) continues to inform farm Organization leadership and continues to promote policies that help both individual farmers and rural America capture the economic benefits of wind turbine ownership or wind project involvement,” says David Senter, AAWC national coordinator and ACCF consultant, Washington, DC.

“All sectors of agriculture should embrace the 20% Vision and target getting 20% of our electricity from wind and other renewable sources by the year 2030. The 20% Vision is a natural complement to the 25 X 25 Alliance and their agenda.  Wind energy is clean, sustainable, renewable, efficient, low-cost.  We must capture this Wealth From The Wind for farmers and rural America. Wind energy works for the benefit of the American economy,” said Dan McGuire, Wind Energy Works! Coalition steering Committee member. click here to view a larger image

That’s why the ACGF has carried out an aggressive, far-reaching outreach and education program and it’s why the ACGA has taken the lead on federal policies supporting wind energy.”

  • Authorized in 2002 Farm Bill
  • 2002 Farm Bill provided mandatory funding of $23 million per year for 5 years
  • Over 1st 4 years of the program $84.3 million has been awarded which has leveraged additional investment of approximately $934 million
  • Total investment in rural renewable energy & energy efficiency improvement projects $1.1 billion

Excerpt below from American Corn Growers Association (ACGA) testimony at USDA 2007 Farm 11111 Listening Session in Nashville, TN July 2005

“Since the topic of discussion is the upcoming farm bill, ACCA suggests retaining and expanding Title IX of the current farm bill (the energy title) when drafting the next farm bill, and just as importantly make sure the energy programs in the current and new farm bill are fully funded.  In teh Case of Section 9006 of Title IX which ahs been funded at near $25 million, the 2007 farm bill should provide annual funding/appropriations in the range of $250 million so that farmers and the rural economy can more quickly capture the benefits of wind and other renewable energy systems at a time when renewable energy is so desperately needed by all U.S. citizens and the U.S. economy," Larry Mitchell, chief executive officer, American Corn Growers Association.

Progressive Federal and State Policies Are Important New Ideas For Small Wind Energy and Rural Development
Federal: The "Rural Wind Energy Development Act" (H.R. 1772, also S. 673 in Senate) would provide $1,500 per one-half kilowatt of capacity for small wind systems. This bill would provide credits for the installation of wind energy property, including by rural homeowners, farmers, ranchers and small businesses, and for other purposes.

State: LB 629-Nebraska Rural Community-Based Energy Development Act

click to view a larger image May 21, 2007 Signing of LB 629

L-R: Senator Don Preister, Senator Vicki McDonald, Senator Annette Dubas, Senator Cap Dierks (Bill Author), Governor Dave Heineman, Senator Norm Wallman: Senator Steve Lathrop; Senator Russ Karpicek. Note: ALL senators shown were co-sponsors of LB 629.

May 21, 2007 following signing of LB 629

Front Row (L-R): Shelley Sahling-Zart, Lincoln Electric System; Robert Byrnes, NE Renewable Energy Association; John Hansen, President Nebrask Farmers Union; Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman; Dan McGuire, CEO American Corn Growers Foundation; Gale Lush, chairman American Corn Growers Foundation; Rex Woolen, NEFU & ACGA member.  Back Row (L-R): Thomas Richards, OPPD; Terry Warth, NPPD; Ken Winston, Nebraska Sierra Club; Senator Cap Dierks, Keith Dittrich, Chairman American Corn Growers Association; Martin Kleinschmit, Center for Rural Affairs; John Dittrich, ACGA; John McClure, NPPD.


click to view a larger image

"The Nebraska Legislature unanimously passed State Senator Cap Dierks' Priority Bill, LB 629 on Final Reading May 15th with a 49-0 vote, bringing the C-BED Community Based Energy Development wind energy model to Nebraska. Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman signed LB 629 into law on May 21, 2007 with the emergency clause. The signing ceremony included leaders of the Nebraska Farmers Union and the American Corn Growers as well as members of other organizations and Nebraska public power utilities. This represents an historic and dramatic step forward for both rural economic development and renewable energy in the public power state of Nebraska. This is a big win—win for rural Nebraska and the environment," said John Hansen, President of the Nebraska Farmers Union.

We need wind power to take the pressure off of water demand

"According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Wind Powering America fact sheet, The Wind/Water Nexus... 'In 2002, fossil fuel and nuclear plants withdrew nearly 225 billion gallons of water per day. Wind energy does not use or consume water during electricity generation. Greater additions of wind to offset fossil, hydropower, and nuclear assets in a generation portfolio will result in a technology that uses no water, offsetting water—dependent technologies. By diversifying the generating portfolio energy mix, a utility can manage its water supply risks.' click to view a larger image

...NREL also reports that 'The least efficient water-cooled plants use as much as 50 gallons of water per kilowatt-hour (kWh).'  My family uses about 3000 kilowatt-hours per month and in Nebraska, we understand all too well the pressure on water resources in the west, having experienced seven years of drought conditions," said Gale Lush, Chairman of the American Corn Growers Found1ion and a corn farmer from Wilcox, Nebraska.

Our very own Nebraska Public Power District has drilled numerous deep, high-capacity water wells around the Gerald Gentlemen coal-fired electrical generation plant because the reservoir (Lake McConaughy) that they draw cooling water from is only 37% of normal capacity. Irrigation farmers in the Platte River valley have already been cut from 8 inches of normal supply to 6 inches annually in order to protect recreation and cooling for fossil-fueled power plants. We need to do everything we can to lessen the demand pressure on water. Wind turbines can help a lot to lessen water use for electricity demand and the Community-Based Energy Development (C-BED) wind farm ownership model can provide a new cash crop for farmers and a rural economic development tool."