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Key Energy Subcommittee Advances Tonko Wind Energy Bill

New legislation now heads to full Science, Space & Tech Committee for markup

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Washington, July 11, 2019 | comments

WASHINGTON – Congressman Paul D. Tonko (D-NY) announced today that his newly-introduced wind energy legislation, cosponsored by Reps. Don Bacon (R-NE). Joseph Kennedy (D-MA), and Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), has advanced through the Space, Science, and Technology Committee Subcommittee on Energy. Tonko’s bipartisan bill, H.R. 3609, Wind Energy Research and Development Act of 2019, would give formal authorization to the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Wind Energy. This legislation was first introduced by Tonko just last week (7/2).

“Providing formal direction for DOE’s wind energy research efforts will help strengthen our economy and protect our environment for future generations,” said Tonko. “Investing in wind power advances these goals, bringing down energy costs for consumers and businesses and helping us build a greener economy in our Capital Region and beyond. Continued support for wind energy research will also propel American leadership and global competitiveness in these cutting-edge, eco-friendly technologies. I am delighted that my colleagues in the Subcommittee on Energy have voted to support this worthy legislation, and I am eager to work with my colleagues on the full Science committee to review and advance legislation for the sake of America’s economy and our clean energy future.”

The Wind Energy Research and Development Act of 2019 would accelerate innovative technologies, educate local communities, create more jobs, and increase economic activity in rural areas. Wind energy makes up 6.6 percent of all U.S. utility-scale power generation today, and the field is constantly evolving with government support. According to DOE, wind energy could supply more than one-third of America’s total electricity needs by 2050.

H.R. 3609: Wind Energy Research and Development Act of 2019 authorizes DOE’s Office of Wind Energy for five years and directs the Secretary of Energy to:

  • Improve the energy efficiency, reliability & capacity of wind energy generation
  • Reduce cost of permitting, construction, operation & maintenance of wind energy systems
  • Conduct a wind energy technology validation and market transformation program
  • Reduce barriers to widespread adoption of wind power including grid integration, permitting issues tied to potential impacts on wildlife, radar systems, and airspace
  • Develop new wildlife impact mitigation technologies


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