Fair Share Alliance is a non-profit organization working to provide every American with a fair shot of obtaining a good job and secure future. In Newton, Massachusetts Fair Share is working with Boston College students and surrounding community members and organizations to raise awareness from the ground up to support and encourage Senator Scott Brown to put Americans back to work by supporting the extension of the renewable energy production tax credit for wind power.
Unfortunately, in this day and age, and especially in a recovering economy, the strength of one’s voice in our democracy is determined by purchasing power. Being privileged enough to attend a university like Boston College in a neighborhood as nice as Newton and Chestnut Hill, sometimes it is easy to lose touch with the severity of the struggling economic status our country is currently facing. With a national unemployment rate of ~8.3%, ever rising costs of living, and a growing national wealth gap, it is difficult for many to sustain.
Luckily, Fair Share Alliance is using door-to-door canvassing and grassroots lobbying to pressure local and national levels of government to do their jobs and defend the working class and their families. With increasing success, Fair Share is expanding into the Newton area, opening up job and volunteer opportunities to Boston College students and surrounding community members. Their goal: to pass an extension of the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind energy for at least one year (ideally four) before the PTC expires at the end of 2012.
The PTC for wind power is an incentive that provides a tax credit for wind power. If the credit is allowed to expire, new wind energy developments will drop anywhere from 73% to 93% in the following year, putting thousands of American jobs at risk. With the current efforts of Fair Share Newton to extend the PTC, the organization has the opportunity to save 54,000 jobs across the United States.
Furthermore, wind energy technology has advanced to such a degree that it has become economically efficient, producing enough energy to compensate for its fixed maintenance and set-up costs. Currently, Massachusetts wind farms power 4,500 homes, producing 38 megawatts of electricity. But if expanded, pending potential wind energy projects could produce up to 468 megawatts, creating even more job opportunities and powering more homes…sustainably.
Iowa, being a part of the Great Plains, is the poster child of wind energy. Because of its high wind rates, Iowa’s wind turbines generate 20% of its energy needs cleanly. By contrast, one then looks at the total contribution of wind energy on a national level. Currently, the U.S. generates 3.25% of its electricity from wind energy; however, it is capable of growing the national average to Iowa’s level by 2030. This means generating 20% of national electricity from wind power not to mention providing 500,000 Americans with jobs in the wind energy sector.
On February 8th, Boston College Fair Share will be holding an informational session for any students interested in spring and summer internship and volunteer opportunities or in their Wind Energy Campaign. In addition, Fair Share will be holding local events in Newton, welcoming any and all to come out and show their support this spring.