Last year, the wind industry employed more workers than coal mining, according to a report released by the American Wind Energy Association. Wind energy jobs increased 70 percent to 85,000 in 2008, 4,000 more workers than are employed in coaling mining (based of Department of Energy figures).

But is it the magic bullet that will save our rural economies? Nacho Corbella of UNC’s Powering the Nation answers this question in his video “Roping the Wind” about a small farming town in Texas where wind turbines and farm fields coexist to support the local economy.

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We took Corbella’s idea to four influential thinkers and asked them–is wind the energy of the future? Dr. Dan Lashoff (Natural Resources Defense Council), Kate Sheppard (Mother Jones), Ana Unruh-Cohen (Select Committee on Energy Independence & Global Warming, and Jim Connaughton (Constellation Energy) weigh in.

Watch other videos from Powering the Nation on Planet Forward.

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