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Tom Kiernan, CEO of American Wind Energy Association, to Speak at the 18th Annual Wege Foundation Speaker Series

April 7, 2014 - (Grand Rapids, Michigan) - The Wege Foundation has announced that Tom Kiernan, CEO of American Wind Energy Association, is the speaker for the 18th Annual Wege Foundation Speaker Series. The event, which promotes foundation founder Peter Wege’s Economicology philosophy, will take place on Thursday, April 24, 2014 from 4 to 5 p.m. at the Aquinas College Performing Arts Center, 1703 Robinson Road S.E. The event is free and open to the public and is followed by a reception. An RSVP is required.

As CEO of the American Wind Energy Association, Tom Kiernan is one of the country’s leading experts and proponents of wind power. Kiernan and the AWEA are dedicated to increasing demand for wind power, reducing cost and addressing implementation issues. Previously, Kiernan was CEO of the National Parks Conservation Association for 15 years, and served as the founding Co-Chair of the Healing Our Waters – Great Lakes Coalition founded by Peter Wege and funded by the Wege Foundation. Kiernan also spent three years in the EPA during George H. W. Bush’s administration.

While U.S. wind energy development is ahead of the goal of producing 20 percent of America’s electricity by 2030 (and more than 80,000 jobs have been created), offshore wind projects remain controversial in Michigan and onshore projects have slowed.

Kiernan will talk about the future of wind power in the U.S. and why it is so important for the future of Michigan’s economy and its environment. “Today, wind provides four percent of America’s energy,” Kiernan said. “We can get to 20 percent by increasing demand, reducing costs, addressing implementation issues and continuing to educate legislators and the public.”

“Michigan’s economic and environmental well-being depends on developing clean, renewable sources of electricity,” said Ellen Satterlee, CEO of the Wege Foundation, “and Tom will help show us the pathway to a sustainable future.”

Kiernan joins a long list of distinguished Wege Foundation Speaker Series lecturers including former U.S. EPA Administrator William K. Reilly, ocean explorer Dr. Sylvia Earle, and environmental attorney Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

Wege Foundation founder Peter Wege started the speaker series in 1997 to highlight his Economicology philosophy. In the 1990s, Peter Wege coined the word “economicology” to define the balance the world must find between “economics” and “ecology.” His 1998 book ECONOMICOLOGY: The Eleventh Commandment documents Peter’s philosophy that a prosperous economy requires a healthy environment.