Siting and building more U.S. wind power farms the focus as industry conference kicks off in Kansas City

Siting and building wind energy farms to produce more clean, affordable American wind power has never been more important than today, as unrest in the Middle East and $4-a-gallon gasoline prices again focus attention on how dependent the United States is on foreign energy sources.

Experts in siting wind turbines farms will kick off the American Wind Energy Association’s two-day Wind Power Project Siting Workshop, from 1 pm Central today, March 1, through tomorrow, March 2 at the Hyatt Regency Crown Center, 2345 McGee Street, Kansas City. Press credentials for in-person attendance are available by contacting AWEA.

Participating for AWEA on today’s press call will be:

*Rob Gramlich, Senior Vice President for Public Policy
*John Anderson, Director of Siting Policy
*Tom Vinson, Director of Regulatory Affairs
*Peter Kelley, Vice President for Public Affairs

Among the pressing issues to be addressed at the workshop are the pending draft guidelines for wildlife and golden eagles, now pending at the U.S. Department of Interior’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Bureau of Land Management.

AWEA in a statement on Feb. 15 (see said it cannot support the guidelines as released, because they disregard a two-year, pro-wildlife agreement worked out under the supervision of Fish and Wildlife with leading wildlife organizations. The draft guidelines threaten at least 35,000 megawatts of homegrown electricity – and $70 billion in private investment. A public comment period extends through May.

A new issue of AWEA’s Rhetoric vs. Reality series, on the topic of "Wind Energy and Birds" was released today, and the guidelines will be discussed further by a panel tomorrow morning, March 2, at 10:30 am Central at the workshop in Kansas City.

AWEA yesterday discussed the need for more homegrown wind energy in light of the latest energy crisis and the new ability to wind power electric cars and plug-in hybrids, in a separate statement at