Glenn Laken

Andy Wirth: Advocating The Power of Clean

This week businessman Andy Wirth applauded the Reno City Council for voting to support the Clean Power Plan, an effort to move away from coal power. In his op ed piece in the Reno Gazette-Journal, Wirth pointed out that the city council joined many private companies in the area in backing cleaner energy.

“The times aren’t changing,” he wrote, “they have already notably changed.” Wirth said that the need for clean energy is “apolitical;” everyone in the Reno area is affected by poor air quality, and that pollution leads to drought and increased forest fires. He noted that the practice of burning coal there contributes to the bad effects of climate change worldwide, and wondered why coal was necessary when the area is rich in geothermal and solar energy.

Wirth also pointed out that cleaner energy makes the economy better, not worse, and that Tesla, Microsoft, and Apple, which are bringing good jobs to the area, are all supporters of clean energy. He called on civic leaders to set special interests aside, and make the area an example of clean energy use for others.

Wirth stated that Reno now has an important opportunity to achieve a better environment, and called on Congress and state governments to work for clean energy, as well. “We advance this important cause,” he said, “while also benefiting from a growing economy.”

Andy Wirth was born in West Germany in 1963, and has a Bachelor of Science degree from Colorado State University. He also attended Edinburgh University. He’s worked in the resort industry for 25 years, and has won many business and civic awards, including Steamboat Springs Business Leader of the Year. He founded Wounded Warrior Support, which raises funds for the Navy Seal Foundation, and in 2014 he was named Citizen of the Year by Disabled Sports USA.

Wirth is currently CEO of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings and chairman of the board of the Reno Tahoe Airport Authority Board of Trustees. He’s also on the Tahoe Fund Board of Directors, a not-for-profit dedicated to improving the environment in the Lake Tahoe area.