Climate and Economy Prompts Push for Clean Energy Initiative

A bipartisan group of former presidential advisers, cabinet members, and senators, including former US Senator Warren Rudman from New Hampshire, has formed the Partnership for a Secure America, and last week issued a statement calling for prompt Congressional action on clean energy and climate. Locally, economic development proponent Patryc Wiggins, founder and president of the Guild Institute, of Guild (NH) applauded the effort.

“Policy leadership is key to steer both public and private investment in the coordination of assets, talents, and resources,” said Wiggins, who is working to fire up renewable energy projects in New Hampshire and Vermont.

Wiggins wants to link national, public policy initiatives with public interest projects here at home, development that dovetails with regional assets, from farms and forest resources to Precision Valley’s sophisticated, engineering and manufacturing base.

Wiggins, a former director of ECON (Economic Corporation of Newport), is a community organizer and advocate for sustainable development. She sees Precision Valley employers and employees innovating and producing the parts, products and systems for all renewable energy types, output needed for domestic and international markets.

“Family scale farming and forestry in Precision Valley [the region that runs along the Connecticut River] is also key to demonstrating local food production and best timber practices, all superior and sustainable land-use practices,” said Wiggins.

Wiggins recently met with Sullivan County Commissioners to discuss a gasification installation and farm and forest opportunities that could provide far-reaching economic and ecological benefits and serve as a model for statewide initiatives.

Pointing to on-going approaches at colleges in the area, Dartmouth, Antioch, Colby-Sawyer, UNH, Keene and UVM, Wiggins added, “Academia is key to create a network of research, case study, internship and other support for what must happen to allow the state to transition to a renewable energy infrastructure.”

The Partnership for a Secure America statement said:

Climate change is a national security issue. The longer we wait to act, the harder it will be to mitigate and respond to its impacts. U.S. leadership alone will not guarantee global cooperation. But if we fail to take action now, we will have little hope of influencing other countries to reduce their own contributions to climate change, or of forging a coordinated international response.

Here at home, we must cut our own carbon emissions, reduce our reliance on foreign oil, and develop and deploy clean, renewable energy sources that will generate economic growth. We must also help less developed countries adapt to the realities and consequences of a drastically changed climate. Doing so now will help avoid humanitarian disasters and political instability in the future that could ultimately threaten the security of the U.S. and our allies. But most importantly, we must transcend the political issues that divide us — by party and by region — to devise a unified American strategy that can endure and succeed.

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