I affectionately refer to On the Road as the book that launched a thousand man children. (And if not man children, then you have to agree that at least it launched a thousand fedoras.) So it’s kind of odd that I’m about to take a Kerouac-style vision quest so I can come back to you with a lot more things to write about. But that’s what this post is all about — my impending sabbatical.
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
Kevin Durant proved he’s a normal, selfish, Ferrari-driving human being like the rest of us this past weekend when photos surfaced on Twitter of him using an opportune ambulance to cut in line in traffic. Because any event that includes the name “Kevin Durant” is a news story for our desperate news media, they sent their news teams out to investigate. The verdict? KD is a hometown hero.
Check out this absurd report from Joleen Chaney and News 9:
Kevin Durant Clears Path For Paramedics Responding To An Emergency
EMSA paramedics trying to get through rush hour traffic were in for quite the surprise after a famous driver helped them get to not only one but two emergencies on time.
They say that thoughtful driver was Kevin Durant.
“We were stuck in traffic, so pretty much cars surrounding us all over,” EMSA paramedic Peter Radford said. “All of a sudden, I see a silver Ferrari or a silver sports car pull in behind us.”
Before Radford knew it, the lanes of traffic started clearing.
“I see this Ferrari has it’s flashers on,” he said. “It’s actually making way for us to get through and navigate all the traffic.”
The paramedics were finally making their way to the emergency.
“Once we actually get through all the traffic, this silver Ferrari comes over to the side and waves to my partner,” Radford said. “And my partner goes ‘Do you have any idea who that is?’ And of course I’m clueless. ‘That’s Kevin Durant.'”
“He waves to me. I just thought that was so cool that someone like Kevin Durant would take the time to assist this emergency vehicle getting to an emergency call,” Radford said.
So Kevin Durant cleared a path for an ambulance… by following the ambulance through traffic congestion? Uhm, how exactly does that work?
“Honey, do see that ambulance behind with the lights flashing?
“Yes, I do. I hear the sirens, too.”
“Well, there’s a Ferrari behind it with its lights on. We better pull over and let them pass.”
Yeah, this doesn’t make any sense. First of all, I have 22 years driving experience. I’m pretty sure everyone pulls over and / or tries to make room for an ambulance during a traffic jam. Second, how the fuck do you clear a path for an ambulance when you’re driving behind it? From the perspective of an outsider who is not trying to spin a feel good story for simpletons who watch local TV news, it seems more like KD was using the ambulance to sneak through traffic. That can’t be the case, right?
Well, check this out:
We’ve all been there before. You’ve just closed the bar down, and are undergoing some relationship turmoil. There is enough cheap liquor coursing through your veins that you have somehow convinced yourself that you’re not going to feel like a vomity bag of poison and guilt in the morning. For whatever reason, you’re feeling distressed about your situation with your loved one.
Pamela Nash was having one of those nights, but instead of dealing with it like a reasonable adult by calling her ex, she decided to solicit advice from none other than one of the 10 worst governors in America, Mary Fallin.
Yesterday afternoon, we analyzed these year’s crop of Miss Rocklahoma finalists. One contestant who caught my eye was OU employee Victoria Loren:
Victoria is not only a ridiculously hot model with a killer body that makes me feel warm and fuzzy like Garth climbing the rope in gym class, but she’s also an employee at OU. Screw the national merit scholars! What can we do to get her in the commercials they show during football games!? Enrollment will soar and the higher ed budget crisis will be solved!
Because the Internet is a great thing, Victoria has an Instagram account where she posts a lot of modeling photos. I then gathered up some of these photos and posted them after the jump because Victoria is our Hot Girl Friday. Enjoy.
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