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Kit Kennedy’s Blog

The Wind 100: Sierra Club Volunteer Matt Kearns to Run 100 Miles to Promote Offshore Wind Power

Kit Kennedy

Posted June 13, 2014 in Curbing Pollution, Solving Global Warming

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Want to learn more about the potential for clean, offshore wind to power Long Island? Join the Sierra Club for the Wind 100, a unique rally for offshore wind power happening tomorrow evening, Saturday, June 14th, in Long Beach on Long Island. Sierra Club volunteer Matt Kearns will run 100 miles–from the Montauk lighthouse to the Long Beach boardwalk–to send the message that offshore wind is right for New York. The rally will welcome him at the end of his inspiring journey.

With the federal Environmental Protection Agency taking action to set historic carbon pollution standards for power plants, there’s more reason than ever for New York state to increase its reliance on clean, renewable energy. Our state has huge offshore wind resources off Long Island and in New York Harbor. But plans to harness this carbon-free power source are moving forward slowly. NRDC hopes to change that, and that’s why I’m excited that my colleague Lisa Dix at the Sierra Club has organized Wind 100 and that Matt Kearns is making clean-energy history with this epic 100-mile run.

Thumbnail image for Matt Kearns Running.JPGThis Saturday, ultramarathoner and Sierra Club volunteer Matt Kearns (pictured here) will run the full length of Long Island—100 miles from the Montauk lighthouse to the Long Beach boardwalk—to publicize the opportunities that offshore wind power offers to New Yorkers. 

Long Islanders often ask Matt what they can do to help the environment. “My answer is: What are you good at?” says Kearns, 37, a project manager for a construction company. If you’re a good writer, he says, write articles and stories that protect the natural world. If you have a good voice, sing out!

Matt himself is good at running. So good, actually, that in the last four or five years he’s run several ultra-marathons—races whose distances make a standard 26.2 mile marathon seem like a walk in the park.

Following his own advice, Kearns has decided to apply his considerable talents to the important task of publicizing the potential of offshore wind power for Long Island and New York State.

There are great possibilities for the pollution-free technology here, with two offshore wind projects currently in development. With the right government policies in place, and with appropriate siting to protect marine resources and wildlife, together, these projects can provide a significant 1,350 megawatts of carbon-free electric generating capacity to our electric grid. One project, called Deepwater ONE, is planned by Deepwater Wind and could be sited about 30 miles east of Montauk. The Long Island Power Authority should give strong consideration to including this project in its renewable energy portfolio. The other potential offshore wind project, planned by a consortium led by the New York Power Authority, would be sited about 17 miles southeast of Jones Beach. The next step for this project is for the federal government to hold an auction for the right to develop offshore wind in this area, for NYPA to participate in this process and, then, for both the feds and New York to stop a misguided plan for an offshore liquefied natural gas facility to be built on the same site.

Says Kearns, a life-long Long Island resident, “offshore wind power is a great opportunity to bring jobs and economic development at the same time as it will help us move to a sustainable future.” 

The result: The Wind 100, Kearns’ run this Saturday, publicized at 100 miles, from the tip of Montauk all the way to Long Beach. There, sometime between 7 and 9 pm, he’ll be welcomed to the finish line by a rally of as many as 1,000 people or more, music by local bands J and the 9s and NOHC, and a live, on-site broadcast by WBAB radio (FM 92.3). NRDC is just one of a long list of supporters of Matt’s run. We hope you’ll join us at the event. 

Kearns will get going a few minutes after midnight on Saturday, hoping to minimize his hours in the potentially hot sun. Because of permitting and safety issues, fellow runners out there can’t join Kearns on the run. But people can cheer on him at stops in Southampton, Patchogue and Freeport and track his progress at www.nywind100.org. (At the end of this blog post we’ve got a list of sample tweets and a Thunderclap link that will broadcast a message about Matt and wind power for you over Twitter, Facebook or Tumblr.)

Kearns won’t stop promoting offshore wind power for Long Island once the run is over. He and the Sierra Club, NRDC and a broad coalition of allies plan to work with Governor Cuomo to put in place policies that can get offshore wind projects off the drawing board and into the water.

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Social media mavens, here’s a link to the Wind 100 on Thunderclap. It will broadcast your message for you over Twitter, Facebook or Tumblr and help make Matt’s run a trending topic. Some suggested tweets from the folks at the Sierra Club are below:

#WheresMattNow<https://twitter.com/search?q=%23WheresMattNow> ? Follow #Wind100<https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Wind100> to support Matt Kearns' epic 100 mile run & tell #GovCuomo<https://twitter.com/search?q=%23GovCuomo> to support offshore wind http://thndr.it/1u1jRLi

@NYGovCuomo #WheresMattNow ? Follow #Wind100 all day to support Matt Kearns' epic 100 mile run for offshore wind! thndr.it/1u1jRLk<http://thndr.it/1u1jRLk>

#WheresMattNow<https://twitter.com/search?q=%23WheresMattNow> ? Today Matt Kearns runs 100 miles to support offshore wind in the US! Follow him at #wind100<https://twitter.com/search?q=%23wind100> thndr.it/1u1jRLk<http://thndr.it/1u1jRLk>

Hey @NYGovCuomo<https://twitter.com/NYGovCuomo> #WheresMattNow<https://twitter.com/search?q=%23WheresMattNow> ? Follow #Wind100<https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Wind100> all day to support Matt Kearns' epic 100 mile run for offshore wind! thndr.it/1u1jRLk<http://thndr.it/1u1jRLk>

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Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit NRDC.org.

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