Prepared Comments by Jeffrey Clark, Executive Director
The Wind Coalition
Mars/Sumitomo/Duke Energy Mesquite Creek Wind Farm Dedication
Lamesa, Texas – October 1, 2015
What a sweet day it is in Lamesa Texas!
Today, we’re standing in the heart of Texas and standing in the midst of a technological revolution that is changing the world of energy. Around the globe, incredible advancements are changing the way we produce the electricity that powers our lives – and a social shift is occurring in which consumers, manufacturers, and major industrial users of electricity demand access to these new forms of power. Today, I’m proud to celebrate with you as we dedicate this wind energy project, one that I feel will be a model for the rest of the country.
American consumers are demanding cleaner and more affordable energy, American manufacturers are looking to protect the environment and to provide long-term and affordable energy solutions for the businesses, energy developers are harnessing new ways to tap the energy resources that bless us, and communities are embracing the economic opportunity that comes with providing energy to the world.
As a young man in Abilene, I hated the wind. Its ceaseless presence made every activity more difficult. At that time, even I would have doubted that our state would one day receive more than 10% of its power from clean Texas wind. By the end of next year, more than 15% of our power will come from Texas wind. What an amazing example of turning this infinite resource into a useful tool for our communities. This transition to wind, and away from imported coal, makes us more dependent on our own energy – our wind and our natural gas – and less dependent on dirtier fuels imported from other states.
This project represents a gathering of greats. Mars, one of the worlds greatest brand names producing some of the worlds most beloved food products, joins together with Duke Energy and Sumitomo, two of the worlds great energy companies, collectively partnering with this community in one of the greatest wind energy regions in the world.
Working together with the farmers and ranchers hosting these wind turbines, these great companies are taking a brilliant step forward allowing Mars to power its North American operations – including 37 factories – with clean, infinite, affordable Texas wind.
It has been a pleasure for me to work on energy policies in Texas as we’ve tried to send the message that Texas is open for business, especially for the energy business. No state has done more to promote an “all of the above” energy strategy than Texas. In our legislature, leaders like Tom Craddick have said to the world, “If you were buying energy, Texas stands ready to provide it.” Thank you Speaker Craddick for being with us today.
With leaders in the legislature, we’re fought for the transmission lines that allow West Texas and the Panhandle to participate in this part of the energy economy. We’ve encouraged economic development policies that keep Texas attractive for wind energy investments that have traditionally flowed to other states. And, we’ve protected market structures that make wind competitive for the many American companies — like Mars — that have expressed a desire to access more renewable energy. They want the cleaner power and predictable prices that wind brings.
Texas is open for the energy business and we’ll keep pushing for policies that help make transformational projects like this a reality. This beautiful wind farm has been a long time coming and I know that the Texas leaders who helped get us to this point share in your excitement and your success.
From Lamesa to the world, Texas is at the center of and energy revolution and now we’re the power behind many of the candies we all love. I’m proud to say that every time a consumer enjoys a Mars candy – like M&Ms, Twix, Milky Way, Snickers, and many more – they’re enjoying a product made with wind, a little bit of Texas, and the spirit of Lamesa.
Again, I congratulate all you on this outstanding project and on finding the perfect community and the perfect partners to make a part of this exciting investment in Texas.