Wokee from Muskogee

January 26, 2019


Build wind power in Oklahoma – the Sooner the better.

I’m here all week…

Muskogee Phoenix:

Oklahoma never will be a Top 10 state if lawmakers insist on pushing bills that would take the state backward instead of positioning it for the future.

Four state senators filed legislation clearly intended to hobble Oklahoma’s wind industry. It is no surprise the senators who filed five bills list contributors from the oil and gas sector among some of the largest contributors to their campaigns.  

Three bills would place greater restrictions on wind farm siting, requiring additional setbacks and notifications for those where there might be a perception of interference with not only military air space but private airports as well. These bills were filed by Sens. Nathan Dahm, R-Broken Arrow, Casey Murdock, R-Felt, and Adam Pugh, R-Edmond. 

A fourth bill, filed by Sen. Mark Allen, R-Spiro, would create a new 50-cent per kilowatt hour fee for converting alternating current to direct current electricity. Allen filed another bill that would reduce from 12 months to 90 days the time a company has to complete the decommissioning process and remove materials that cannot be recycled from the state.

While precautions are necessary to ensure safe flying, anti-wind legislation filed in Oklahoma during the past few years are onerous attempts to hobble an industry that has a promising future in this state. These lawmakers and others undoubtedly are carrying water — likely contaminated — for the oil and gas industry threatened by the an alternative source of energy consumers are demanding.

Oklahoma ranks second nationwide for installed wind capacity, generating enough electricity in 2017 to power 2.3 million homes. The wind industry, which directly and indirectly supported 8,000 to 9,000 jobs that year in Oklahoma, provided that electricity while using virtually no water and pumping no carbon dioxide into the air. 

The American Wind Energy Association estimates the power plants that burn coal and natural gas — the plants these lawmakers are trying to protect — would have consumed 4.9 billion gallons of water to generate the same amount of electricity. Those plants also would have pumped an estimated 10.7 million metric tons of carbon dioxide into the air for all Oklahomans to breathe, contributing to public health problems that add to everybody’s health care costs. 

While the contributions made to this state by the oil and gas industry cannot be discounted, its true costs — those beyond the pump — cannot be denied. There will be an energy revolution, and the state can capitalize on that only if its leaders are prepared to adapt. 

Embracing fossil fuels at the expense of cleaner alternatives will relegate the state’s future to the past. These bills — and others that fail to capitalize on the abundance of renewable resources like wind and solar available in Oklahoma — should never live beyond the committees to which they will be assigned.


For a gut check on the complexity — and the opportunity — for companies interested in buying renewable energy, ponder this: Brewer Anheuser-Busch evaluated 75 projects and held talks with 15 possible partners before signing its massive power purchase agreement disclosed last week for an Oklahoma wind farm owned by Enel Green Power.

The deal will cover about 50 percent of the power used by Anheuser-Busch’s operations across North America, according to top executives from both companies.

Meanwhile, personal care products company Kimberly-Clark has orchestrated arrangements with the developers of two projects, one in Oklahoma and one in Texas, that together represent about one-third of electricity used by its North American manufacturing operations for brands such as Kleenex and Huggies. The aggregate amount across the farms is 245 megawatts in capacity, or about 1 million megawatt-hours.

The scale of these commitments underscores just how serious big-name consumer products companies remain about reducing their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions impact, despite the U.S. decision to withdraw support for the Paris Agreement. If anything, some are trying to move faster.

In the case of Kimberly-Clark, for example, the new deals for the Rock Falls Wind in Oklahoma (EDF Renewables) and Santa Rita Wind Energy Center in Texas (Invenergy) should help the company reach its GHG emissions reduction goal four years earlier than anticipated, according to Lisa Morden, the company’s global head of sustainability. The projects are expected to be operational in late 2017 and the second quarter of 2018, respectively.

“The two renewable energy projects, combined with a number of other energy initiatives across the company, put Kimberly-Clark on track to deliver significant multimillion-dollar cost savings from energy and climate projects by 2022,” Morden said. “It’s a powerful demonstration of sustainability initiatives having both great environmental and business benefits.”



9 Responses to “Wokee from Muskogee”

  1. dumboldguy Says:

    What do you expect from the state that has sent “Snowball Jim” Inhofe to the Senate for the last 24 years, and to the House for 7 years before that?. 31 years of sucking on the fossil fuel industry teat—these four anti-winders are probably among those angling to replace him in Washington—-he IS 84, has long shown signs of dementia, and can’t last much longer—-the way things are going, I’d bet that he doesn’t run for reelection in 2020. Get ready for a new OK “snowball” in Washington.

  2. Sir Charles Says:

    This might speak the language:

  3. The Muskogee Phoenix corrected Sen. Allen’s misuse of units in the Oklahoma Senate Bill 1007 from “kilowatt of electricity” to kilowatt hour.
    SECTION 1. NEW LAW A new section of law to be codified in the Oklahoma Statutes as Section 158 of Title 17, unless there is created a duplication in numbering, reads as follows: The Corporation Commission shall assess a fee for the regulation of the conversion of alternating current to direct current electricity by any wind energy facility, as defined in Section 160.13 of Title 17 of the Oklahoma Statutes. The fee shall be fifty cents ($0.50) per kilowatt of electricity converted and shall be placed to the credit of the General Revenue Fund. The Commission shall promulgate rules and regulations to implement the provisions of this act.
    SECTION 2. This act shall become effective November 1, 2019.

    One might also reasonably ask, what is Oklahoma’s Corporation Commission? The Commission is a regulatory agency for the State of Oklahoma with emphasis on the Fuel, Oil and Gas, Public Utilities, and Transportation Industries.

    • Brent Jensen-Schmidt Says:

      A $0.50 surcharge per KwH will economically destroy wind generation, which is no doubt the point. Trust it will be challenged in court with lots of publicity.
      Apropos of merle baby’s song and nothing else. The muskogee is among the worst users of opiates today.

      • Increasing wind’s wholesale energy price by 12x would indeed be a powerful disincentive – and a carbon fee would be sponsored by Satan.
        In January 2018, he was appointed to serve on the Executive Committee of The Energy Council, a nonprofit organization that promotes a balanced national energy strategy and related environmental policies. Mark and his wife Nikki Allen are the owners of Allen Rathole, Inc., a family-owned business specializing in oil field service. Mark and Nikki have been married 22 years. They are members of the Victory Worship Center in Spiro, Oklahoma. He knows rural values and wants to ensure that we preserve our close-knit communities and agricultural heritage. Mark is a firm believer in God and country and the Constitution our United States was built on, and praises the men and women who defend it. A staunch conservative, Mark Allen is also concerned about safeguarding traditional values, keeping our families and communities strong and ensuring that our natural resources benefit Oklahomans and create jobs in this state. An endowment member of the NRA, Mark Allen stands strong for Second Amendment rights. Other affiliations include Pajaro Gun Club Board of Directors, life member of the National Sporting Clays Association, Ducks Unlimited sponsor, life member of the American Quarter Horse Association, Sallisaw and Poteau Chambers of Commerce, and Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association

  4. Jean Swan Says:

    I live just outside of Muskogee..I Nearly fell over when I read the editorial position of the Muskogee Phoenix.A big utility almost got Okla to put in a big wind farm but the Texas wind farm part of the deal fell through ..I am glad to see this article!! Thanks!!

  5. J4Zonian Says:

    It’s been almost a week–at least it seems like it. Time to shut down something again–maybe the oil corporations this time–and hold them hostage til we get money to build a wall.

    Around the red states.

    To keep the stupid from getting out.

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