There is a debate raging right now in Oklahoma between oil company executives and the wind companies. Apparently, the folks behind one of the most-subsidized industries in Oklahoma doesn’t like it when competing industries get tax breaks.
Via the oil energy-run media outlet known as The Oklahoman:
Some oil and gas executives, including Continental Resources’ Harold Hamm, are embarking on a campaign to end Oklahoma’s tax incentives for wind generation, saying the state can’t afford to subsidize a now-established industry as it faces a $1.3 billion shortfall.
The group, which calls itself the Windfall Coalition, said ending the state tax incentives and instituting a production tax credit for wind would level the playing field and spur more natural gas use by utilities for electricity generation.
Oklahoma added more than 1,400 megawatts of wind capacity in 2015. The state remained in fourth place among states for wind capacity, with 5,184 megawatts. Almost 700 megawatts are under construction in Oklahoma, the American Wind Energy Association said in its latest market report. Oklahoma now gets about 17 percent of its electricity from wind.
Hamm said he got interested in tax incentives for wind generation after talking to a friend, Frank Robson, a Claremore businessman who has helped organize the Oklahoma Property Rights Association and WindWaste. Those two groups have worked the past several years to end the state tax credits and put restrictions on the siting of wind turbines.
I don’t blame Uncle Hamm for taking this stance. He wants the oil industry to have an advantage over wind, and taking away tax incentives from industries that turn moving air into energy will make them less profitable and appealing. That’s not only good for Uncle Hamm, but good for Oklahoma, too. As we know, natural gas is infinite and will never ever run out. Unlike wind, which will stop blowing sooner or later.
Corporate welfare aside, I think there is something else at the heart of this matter. Harold Hamm doesn’t like the way wind farms look. Sure, beauty is subjective, but Uncle Harold has opinions, and a lot of money… which means they matter more than ours. In an interview with the The National Journal (pay wall alert) he once complained about how unsightly wind farms can be:
“I frankly don’t like to see a wind turbine,” Hamm told National Journal. “Once they’re there, they haunt you. That’s your viewshed. That’s what you look at. All those things standing out in the distance, we have them all over Oklahoma. And it doesn’t look very good. I frankly don’t like it.”
Uncle Hamm is correct. Wind farms are ugly and they do haunt you. The last time I drove to by the Weatherford wind farm I was haunted by the ghosts of wind farms past when they sent possessed lesser prairie chickens to shit all over my car. That was pretty disgusting and unsightly, so it got me thinking about things that are prettier than wind farms:
1. Abandoned Well Sites
There is something peaceful and rustic about an abandoned well site. When I look at these piles of metal and probably chemicals, I think about the fortunes that they made someone like Harold Hamm, and think, he is an artist!
2. Pumpjacks in the Parking Lot
Jen Kirkman was just finishing up a taping for the Comedy Central show @Midnight, when I had the chance to talk to her about her OKC show this Wednesday. It’s the first time I’ve spoken with Jenn since she blocked me on Twitter a few years ago after a little spat.
Back in 2012, Jen boycotted Twitter because of all the sexism, misogyny and basically all of the assholes with access to the internet. After her hiatus, I decided to chime in and be a misogynistic asshole to her by tweeting:
Has @JenKirkman rid the internet of misogyny and assholes yet?
This lead to….
W. Kamau Bell has been pegged as a “political” comic, but that’s probably just because he doesn’t talk about airline food, the difference between cats and dogs, and other trivial topics. Because he pokes fun at the things that interest him, i.e. social issues, pop culture and politics, he has been labeled as a political comic. He’s fine with it, and has made a career with this label, but it should be noted that he is a comedian first. Discussing things that matter to him has landed him some impressive titles. Kamau was recently named an Ambassador of Racial Justice by the ACLU. And he sits on the advisory board of Race Forward, a racial justice think tank and home for media and activism, and Hollaback, a non-profit and movement to end street harassment.
He was also the host of Totally Biased: With W. Kamau Bell, an amazing show that aired on FX for two seasons. I’m super excited to see his show, and was happy to chat with him on his maiden voyage into OKC.
How are you enjoying OKC so far?
So far so good. I ate lunch at an Indian restaurant and am now watching Fox News in my hotel room.
Halloween is upon us, and unless you’re diabetic, it’s one of the funnest holidays of the year!
I used to enjoy having an excuse to check out girls in slutty outfits and drink and eat candy, but now that I have a kid I assume my Halloweens will be filled with making sure people aren’t putting razor blades in food. I also have to stay vigilant against all the pedophiles that are apparently dressed like Iron Man.
So for the people out there who are still free to go out and party, Patrick and I want to give you some ideas on what Oklahoma-themed costumes to wear. Wear them to your party, the Halloween Parade, or whatever you’ll be doing while I’m at home checking candy…
Vampire Native Hipster Boo Boo
The only thing better than shitting on the sanctity of marriage by being married and divorced multiple times in a year, is shitting on the culture of Native Americans. It’s a pretty easy costume, just paint your face as white as a vampire and put on a sacred headdress.
Go to Walmart and buy the best OU or OSU apparel you can find. Then go around telling everyone that you are a Christian while at the same time condemning all Muslims. You know, just like Jesus!
While most of you were watching Thursday Night Football or Scandal last night, I took in a gubernatorial debate that featured Mary Fallin bumbling through stock answers with a shiny diamond cross around her neck and Joe Dorman trying to recall facts and figures with a shiny bald head on his head.
As a loyal service to our TLO readers, I thought I’d spend a couple of minutes to provide a recap of the questions, answers and share other random thoughts. Check it out. Despite my preference for Dorman, and the fact that I served as the personal assistant for Governor Henry, I have been completely fair and balanced in my summary of their responses.
Here we go!
Question 1: How do we fix the teacher crisis and education system?
Joe Dorman: We shouldn’t give 3rd graders tests and we should give more money to education.
Mary Fallin: I have never met Janet Barresi, and I have given more money to education this year. Remember when the economy collapsed? Yeah, now that it’s all better I will give more money to schools. But I’m going to keep the A-F school grading systems. Again, I don’t know Janet Barressi. And also the economic recovery had nothing to do with Obama.
p.s. – The audio and video was kind of screwy… OSU A/V club needs to get their shit together or let the OU kids have a crack at it. Also, the moderator seemed more nervous than the candidates. I would crap my pants too if I was in the same room as these two political powerhouses.
Thanks! Your message has been sent!