Speeches By EPA Administrator
Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, Remarks at Happy Jack Wind Farm, As Prepared05/20/2009
|As prepared for delivery.|
Governor Freudenthal invited me to Wyoming for a first-hand look at our country’s energy future.
This state is a point of confluence for different aspects of our energy future – a place where economic issues, environmental and human health concerns, and the pursuit of energy independence all come together.
The first thing on most people’s minds is the economy. EPA and the Obama administration are committed to rebuilding our economy and establishing a new foundation for prosperity over the long-term.
Last week we announced $38 million in Recovery Act funding for water and sewer projects – investments that will significantly improve water quality in local communities at the same time they create and preserve jobs.
In March, we released grants to create jobs and investment in clean diesel in the state, and we look forward to seeing more Recovery investments here in the near future.
So, one goal of our trip is to gauge the economic benefits of the energy industry here.
Wyoming communities benefit from the jobs and economic activity generated by the wind, coal and natural gas industries. These industries are investing in the area, creating good jobs, and strengthening the state’s economy.
In the case of something like the Happy Jack wind farm, the benefits move beyond the immediate area. In a thriving wind power industry, turbines like the ones here will be designed, manufactured, constructed and maintained by American workers, creating new jobs – especially manufacturing jobs – in communities all across America.
Second, we are here to see the many different ways in which we can achieve energy independence.
Wyoming is pioneering the implementation of clean, renewable wind energy and exploiting their abundant wind resources. They’re also a top exporter of our nation’s coal and have significant natural gas and oil resources as well.
President Obama has made clear that real energy independence and freedom from foreign oil will involve a broad range of sources – many of which are represented in this state.
I’ll be looking not only at the Happy Jack Wind Farm, but also the Black Thunder Coal Mine and the Jonah Field Natural Gas facility. I’ll be discussing with the governor and others how these fuels sources can contribute to the energy independence we need if we’re going to protect our security and stabilize our economy in the years to come.
Last but certainly not least, we are here to observe and discuss the protection of human health and the environment as we develop energy independence and grow our economy. We only have to look around us to see the value of our natural surroundings and understand that we don’t want to sacrifice this vital natural resource.
We’re also here to talk about the less obvious issues: excess winter ozone levels that can affect the health of the people here – especially children. Or the construction of transmission lines that will send this energy across the nation.
We have to be certain that we are balancing all of our interests in finding the right path forward. And a good way to do that is to come right to the source and talk to the people there.
Wyoming is the heart of our energy future – that’s why we’re here today. There is much that we can learn by seeing these facilities and speaking with local residents, industry leaders, government officials and others.
Once again, I thank Governor Freudenthal for inviting me to be here, and we look forward to a productive trip.