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Andy Wirth: Environmental Warrior

In September, the city council of Reno, Nevada voted affirmatively for the Clean Power Plan, an environmental initiative with the aim of reducing dependence on coal power. As a resource, coal is considered dirty power as the combustion of coal releases pollutants into the atmosphere and into the surrounding terrain. Thanks to greater awareness in the environmental fields, new economic and moral opportunities are presenting themselves, allowing both local government and private industries to reap the benefits. There is a natural give and take between the government and businesses in this regard. As the government votes to support clean energy, companies that follow these regulations benefit from doing so. As such, more companies begin to use clean energy solutions, thus putting the pressure on the government to vote for clean energy initiatives. This also allows larger companies that have already gone green to make Reno their home. Companies like Google and Tesla are major players in their respective industries, and both desire to expand into new territories that support their environmental friendly vision.

However, these changes are not simply economical and political, rather they are a knee-jerk reaction to the poor standards that the region faces. The quality of air, water, and other natural resources has deteriorated for decades, leaving a once beautiful landscape tarnished.

This fact resonates within Andy Wirth, the president and CEO of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings just outside of Reno in Placer County, California. The survivor of a skydiving accident, Wirth has dedicated his second chance at life to improving the environment to not only improve the experience of his guests, but for everyone in the Lake Tahoe region. In fact, Wirth is so dedicated to his work that just fifty days after his accident and subsequent twenty three surgeries, he returned to work in a full capacity. Wirth maintains that improving environmental conditions will not only improve the quality of life for the people of the Tahoe Lake region but also the floundering economy.

Information was taken from the article that was originally published through the Reno Gazette-Journal with Wirth’s entire op-ed.