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Outside the Box: Wind power will keep growing rapidly — and bring economic opportunity to rural America

The future of federal policies to cut carbon dioxide pollution for existing power plants, such as the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan rule, remains uncertain for the near term. But even with this uncertainty on carbon policy, other factors will continue to drive wind energy’s astronomical growth — benefiting in particular the rural and Rust Belt areas that are starved of economic opportunity.

As leading economists from all political perspectives have argued, incorporating carbon policy into energy markets results in more efficient market outcomes. It also improves American competitiveness by maintaining our lead in developing innovative energy technologies.

Last year, wind surpassed hydropower to become the county’s largest source of renewable generating capacity, and the fourth-largest capacity source behind natural gas, coal, and nuclear.

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