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Offshore Wind = Onshore Jobs for North Carolina?

PHOTO: Offshore wind turbines in Denmark. Courtess of NWF.
PHOTO: Offshore wind turbines in Denmark. Courtess of NWF.
September 13, 2012

RALEIGH, N.C. - Some of the country's most influential environmental groups say it's time for a concerted effort at building and operating wind-energy turbines in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of North Carolina and 13 other states. A new report released today from the National Wildlife Federation, backed by such groups as the Sierra Club and the National Audubon Society, says wind energy will create jobs - up to 300,000 overall, by one estimate - and help stave off climate change, which the groups consider the major threat to living creatures.

Catherine Bowes with the National Wildlife Federation says the build-out of wind power in North Carolina needs to be balanced with a concern for coastal and marine wildlife.

"North Carolina has, in many ways, the largest offshore wind-energy potential of any state along the coast. There's a large, large area of shallow water that extends far out, off the coast of North Carolina."

Bowes says much of North Carolina's potential benefits from wind power are still waiting be be realized.

"They're a bit farther behind other states at the moment; the federal government has not yet identified those formal wind-energy areas for North Carolina, although it's in the works."

Bowes says federal, state and local governments need to work together and to work fast, now that wind power seems on the verge of acceptance.

"We fundamentally believe that climate change is the single greatest threat facing wildlife here in America and across the globe. As a result, we're firmly committed to advancing clean energy in a responsible way."

Offshore wind turbines operate in 12 overseas countries, but not a single one has been built off U.S. shores.

The full report is available at www.nwf.org/offshorewind.





Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NC