By Steve Hanley, Clean Technica, May 29th, 2017
Goldwind Americas is the US arm of one of China’s largest wind turbine manufacturers. Of all the states in America, Wyoming is one of the best suited for wind energy because it has high average wind speeds and lots of wide open spaces. Nevertheless, Wyoming has been hostile to wind power. It is the only state that levies a special tax on electricity generated by wind.
That hasn’t deterred Goldwind Americas, however. Last week at an energy conference in Wyoming, Goldwind offered to provide free training to unemployed coal miners looking for work building and maintaining wind power farms and wind turbine technicians. Free retraining for unemployed workers is more than the state government is willing to do for its citizens.
The company has plans to install hundreds of state-of-the-art wind turbines in locations all across Wyoming. “If we can tap into that market and also help out folks that might be experiencing some challenges in the workforce today, I think that it can be a win-win situation,” David Halligan, chief executive of Goldwind Americas, told the New York Times.
Certainly, nothing could be more counter-intuitive than putting hurdles in the way of businesses that want to create jobs and favoring those that are shedding jobs. Wyoming lost another 6,000 coal jobs in the past year alone. But ideology is hard to overcome. The state’s leaders are bought and paid for by fossil fuel interests and do their bidding even when doing so means shooting themselves and their voters in the foot.
The cowboy mystique is all about self-reliance and success through hard work, both of which are laudable traits. But historically, cowboys didn’t succeed by being stupid, something the state’s leaders fail to realize. If Goldwind is successful, perhaps the state government will start representing the people it was elected to serve rather than corrupt corporate interests who want to damage the state’s economy by keeping it chained to the past.
Photo credit: EPA/Julian Stratenschulte