Environmentalist tapped to lead wind industry group

Source: Phil Taylor, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, September 2, 2014

A longtime senior official for the National Wildlife Federation has been selected to lead the Wind Energy Foundation, a nonprofit industry-funded group that promotes public awareness of wind as a clean energy source and supports research.

John Kostyack, who for more than 20 years supported NWF’s work on climate change, energy and endangered species, will become WEF’s executive director beginning Sept. 15.

“The wind industry has an enormous role to play in helping the nation transition to a clean energy economy,” Kostyack said in a statement yesterday. “At the foundation, we want to help to educate decision makers about the urgency of shifting to wind and other renewable energy sources to make real headway on climate change and to ensure a healthy and prosperous future for our kids and grandkids.”

Kostyack for the past three years has also served on the board of directors for the American Wind Wildlife Institute, a coalition of industry, conservation groups and scientists seeking to minimize the impacts of wind farms on wildlife. AWWI is a partner of WEF.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Virginia and a law degree from Stetson University. Before joining NWF, Kostyack clerked for U.S. District Judge Susan Black in Jacksonville, Fla., and was an associate attorney for Steptoe & Johnson in Washington, D.C., where he won significant victories in environmental and housing cases on behalf of corporate clients, according to WEF.

Kostyack’s latest publication, “Natural Defenses to Hurricanes and Floods: Protecting America’s Communities and Ecosystems in an Era of Extreme Weather,” is due to be issued next month, WEF said.