When more than a dozen local chamber and economic development leaders met with legislators at the North Carolina State Capitol last month, one chamber leader made the reason for growing chamber interest in clean energy clear...
More than three-dozen local chambers of commerce and member businesses met with legislators last month for the largest convening of local chambers at the Massachusetts Statehouse to discuss clean energy.
Rep. Thomas Golden, Jr. (D-Lowell), Sen. Marc Pacheco (D-Taunton), briefed them on what to expect from the remainder of the 2017-2018 session, saying the goal is to build on last year’s work to ensure that Massachusetts remains a clean energy leader.
When Ohio State Senator Cliff Hite (R) knocked on the door of one of his constituents asking what he thought of neighboring wind turbines that had recently been constructed in his neighborhood, the man said: “They’re money for my county, and they’re progress.”
That was more than a decade ago. And ever since, that opinion has been growing in Sen. Hite’s district in Northwest Ohio—fueled by the leadership of local chambers of commerce and economic development leaders who have witnessed the economic benefits to their communities.
“New Bedford should absolutely be the national cluster for offshore wind” as a center of operations and workforce training, said Derek Santos, Executive Director of the New Bedford Economic Development Council. “There should be no reason why folks aren’t trained in New Bedford for projects all over the eastern coast of the United States.”
“It is really exciting to be on the cutting edge of renewable energy and to be involved with Apex [Clean Energy.]” That’s what Botetourt County Chamber of Commerce Board President Peter Pearl recently said about a proposed wind farm that is planned as Virginia’s first onshore wind farm.
More than half of all local chamber leaders in Massachusetts and Connecticut pursued clean energy in 2016 by meeting with lawmakers, engaging in new energy efficiency and solar energy programs, and educating themselves and their member businesses about the growing economic development opportunities in clean energy.
With North Carolina’s clean energy industry having brought in $6.4 billion in revenue and more than 34,000 jobs in 2016 according to a new report, it’s no wonder a growing number of local chambers of commerce were out front on the economic development opportunities of this booming industry last year. Here are five highlights.