As we emerge from the plunging temperatures of a polar vortex, let’s take a moment to close our eyes and imagine the warmth of the Fourth of July. What do you see? For me, I see American flags flying high, cookouts with friends and family, time in the sun, and a Budweiser in hand (with another on its way).
As cliché as it is to say – Budweiser is as American as fireworks on the Fourth of July. Introduced in 1876, Budweiser has been enjoyed by our the men and women of our military and was Peyton Manning’s drink of choice upon announcing his retirement after winning Super Bowl 50.
How does this iconic company stay relevant? How do they transition from at 19th Century company to a thriving 21st Century corporation? The answer is blowin’ in the wind.
Budweiser has committed to powering 100% of its operations through renewable energy. That’s right, a $56 billion company is relying on wind energy to bring us the beer we all love. And they’re not the only ones.
In fact, Budweiser’s commitment to renewable energy is so strong they have elected to make it the focal point of their Super Bowl commercial. That’s right, Budweiser is using their most expensive marketing campaign of the year to focus on their use of renewable energy, particularly wind.
As is necessary with any marketing campaign, Budweiser has popular opinion on their side… by a wide margin. According to recent polling by the Conservative Energy Network and Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions, 81% of voters support clean energy development, including 64% of Republicans.
So why is a thriving company in a competitive industry making this commitment? Certainly, this can’t be practically or economically feasible, right?
Wrong. It’s actually as easy as ABC. So, crack open a Bud, let’s chat.
- It’s accessible. Wind energy production has skyrocketed in over the last decade. Wind production is up nearly 500% and more projects are always in the pipeline. In Ohio alone, there over 175 wind turbines are currently being constructed or developed. Developers and businesses want to push for even more.
- It’s beneficial. Barley, rice, hops – These are three key ingredients to any Budweiser. As shown in the commercial, wind turbines are placed on the farms where they grow these ingredients. Each wind turbine yields $10-15k for the property owner. With a relatively low footprint, farmers can still farm their crops and now have a guaranteed $10-15k per turbine per year. This provides an economic backstop in lean farming years and an opportunity to invest in their operations in strong farming years.
- It’s cheaper. According to Lazard’s Levelized Cost of Energy Analysis, when all government subsidies are removed, wind energy is the cheapest form of energy in production in the United States. Businesses exist to make money. Bottom line: advanced energy is good for the bottom line.
In Ohio, burdensome wind setback regulations are currently prohibiting the growth of the wind industry that is being demanded by both businesses and consumers. The Ohio Conservative Energy Forum looks forward to continuing to educate policymakers and community members about the necessity to re-work the setbacks. Revising the current setbacks to a more reasonable level will give our state the potential to add 15,000 jobs and more than $4 billion in economic investment. Ohioans want the right to harvest raw power from their land. It’s time to restore liberty and get unnecessary government regulations off our land!
Businesses are committed to using renewable energy. State energy policies are key to attracting and retaining these businesses to provide jobs for Ohioans. Let’s make sure we have policies that don’t inhibit private sector growth and job creation in our state.
We can never ease our pursuit for more Ohio jobs. A hard work ethic is at the cornerstone of Ohio values. After all, what are the most satisfying words you can hear after a long work week – “This Bud’s for you!”