About the Wind Energy Foundation
The Wind Energy Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to raising public awareness of wind as a clean, domestic energy source through communication, research and education.
The Wind Energy Foundation’s (WEF) campaigns and programs are aimed at educating decision makers, the media and the general public about the economic and environmental benefits of wind energy and need for policy action to secure these benefits. We recruit, train and mobilize leaders from the wind industry, other renewable energy sectors, and the broader community of supporters to deliver personalized messages about how renewable energy is helping to improve our economy and environment.
A Renewable America, WEF’s largest campaign, takes a multi-sector approach to communicating about the economic success story of renewable energy in key states around the country. Working with the leaders of six renewable energy trade associations, we help business leaders from renewable energy companies and their supply chains to educate decision makers about the large-scale investments and jobs that renewable energy businesses are bringing to their states and districts and the clean, reliable and affordable electricity that is being produced. Currently, A Renewable America is operating in six states: Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas.
Businesses for a Healthy Climate is a coalition of businesses and nonprofit organizations, led by the Wind Energy Foundation, focused on educating the public and decision makers about the business imperative of addressing climate change and the importance of a national price on carbon pollution. Our coalition does not advocate any particular policy solution. Instead, it works to build a bipartisan consensus at the local level around the economic principle that businesses should cover their costs and should not be allowed to shift them onto other businesses and the general public. We are currently piloting our consensus-building approach in New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
The Wind Vision campaign is a joint educational effort of the Wind Energy Foundation and the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) to educate the American public, the media and decision makers about the potential for wind energy growth in the U.S., the benefits of such growth, and the policy actions needed to achieve it. The campaign builds on the work of the U.S. Department of Energy in its March 2015 report, “Wind Vision: A New Era of Wind Power in the United States,” which quantifies the large growth potential of wind energy in the U.S. and the significant economic and environmental benefits that will be realized if that potential is realized. In our campaign, we are recruiting, training and mobilizing wind industry executives and their allies – the so-called Wind Vision Ambassadors – to educate key audiences about not only the promise of renewable energy, but also the policy actions that will be needed to make this promise a reality. In essence, we are unleashing the knowledge and story-telling powers of industry leaders and other experts to build excitement for wind energy and support for the policies needed to enable wind energy to succeed at a grand scale.
John Kostyack arrived at the Wind Energy Foundation to serve as its Executive Director in September 2014. John is an attorney with roughly 30 years of experience in the government, private and nonprofit sectors.
Before arriving at the Wind Energy Foundation, Kostyack worked for 20 years at the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) at the nexus of climate change, energy, and wildlife conservation policy. While serving as Vice President at the NWF, Kostyack helped develop and lead a host of policy advocacy campaigns. Among other things, he worked closely with reinsurance industry leaders and others to advance nature-friendly solutions for communities grappling with climate change impacts. He also served on the board of directors of the American Wind Wildlife Institute, working with wind industry leaders and others to find responsible ways to site and operate wind turbines.
In previous posts at the NWF, Kostyack conceived and led the first national conference on climate-smart conservation and helped establish NWF as a recognized leader in that field. He oversaw NWF’s wildlife advocacy before Congress, the federal agencies and the courts, became a well-known expert on endangered species policy, and helped to win Congressional enactment of federal tax incentives for landowners contributing to recovery of endangered species. John also won several landmark cases enforcing wildlife and wetlands protection law, and represented wildlife conservation groups in Massachusetts vs. EPA, the first-ever global warming case to reach the U.S. Supreme Court.
Director, Public Affairs
Kevin O’Rourke joined the Wind Energy Foundation as the Director of Public Affairs in 2016, after serving as a consultant on the A Renewable America campaign since its inception in the fall of 2013. Kevin is an attorney with significant public affairs experience, having previously consulted for the American Wind Energy Association, the Business Council for Sustainable Energy, Ceres, Climate Nexus, the Solar Foundation, and other leading clean energy and environmental organizations.
Prior to consulting in D.C., O’Rourke was a legislative assistant at the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. O’Rourke is a graduate of Vermont Law School.