The prairies of Wyoming are one of the most fertile places in the United States for the development of wind power.

Numerous wind farms have been proposed for the area, including the Chokecheery and Sierra Madre Wind Energy project, a 1,000 turbine wind farm that will produce 12 million megawatt-hours per year of clean energy.

The problem is getting it to the areas that need it most. The solution: the TransWest Express, a multistate power line that would bring thousands of megawatts of wind power to consumers on the West Coast.

But as IBEW President Lonnie R. Stephenson describes it in an op-ed published Oct. 15 in the Capitol hill newspaper “the Hill,”, federal regulators have delayed approval of the TransWest Project for nearly eight years:

Despite being named by the administration as a “priority project,” TransWest Express has been under constant review since 2007 by multiple federal agencies, particularly from the Bureau of Land Management.

 Eight years of environmental analysis? To put this in perspective, the Hoover Dam, one of North America’s greatest engineering marvels, was built in only five.

Without high-voltage projects like TransWest that can safely transmit green power produced in renewable-rich areas, like Wyoming, to customers and consumers in America’s biggest cities, the Obama administration’s goal of boosting clean power production will remain stalled, Stephenson says.

America has the resources and we have the manpower to take the lead in wind and solar production.

What we need is the will from Washington to clear the TransWest paperwork pathways so real project construction can begin as soon as possible.

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Photo: Wendell