We have some “Really Big” developments to report on the progress of Wind Power. Costs are dropping, employment opportunities set records, enormous wind farms are being built and more major corporations are lining up to power their manufacturing with wind. Read on to hear about: Wind Power! what SUV’s and Huggies have in common!
Wind farms on the windy plains of Oklahoma
What is expected to become the world’s second largest wind farm is also the single largest investment in renewable energy by a U.S. utility. American Electric Power (AEP) will invest $4.5 billion in the Wind Catcher wind farm in Oklahoma’s Panhandle that will supply energy to 1.1 million customers in Oklahoma and the nearby states of Alabama, Texas and Arkansaw, reports Business Insider. (photo – CNBC)
“Once the largest consumer of coal in the U.S., AEP is now shuttering money-losing plants burning the fuel and diversifying its resources along with the rest of the utility sector.”
Black Mesa in the Oklahoma Panhandle is a 28 mile left over from an ancient lava flow and at nearly 5,000 feet, the highest altitude in the state. Once known as “No Man’s Land,” it has little to offer except strong and steady winds. Soon with the construction of Wind Catcher it will form part of North America’s corridor of wind farms running roughly from Minnesota to Texas.
A windy Oklahoman cannot be happy!
Scott Pruitt is from Oklahoma and after serving in the Oklahoma Senate was elected in 2010 as the state’s Attorney General (receiving over $300,000 in campaign contributions from the fossil fuel industry). Once in office Pruitt promptly dissolved the state’s Environmental Protection Unit and proceeded to file 13 lawsuits against the federal EPA.
Pruitt, the fox in the EPA henhouse!
Not with-standing losing his lawsuits Pruitt was appointed Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by Donald Trump. 447 former EPA employees submitted a joint letter opposing Pruitt’s nomination, arguing that his lawsuits against the EPA “strongly suggest that he does not share the vision or agree with the underlying principles of our environmental laws”, and that he did not “put the public’s welfare ahead of private interests”
Upon being confirmed as Director of the EPA, the agency website immediately underwent changes “to better represent the new direction the agency is taking” including “the removal of …. detailed climate data and scientific information.” Here’s a bit of what was to follow.
- At Pruitt’s urging President Trumps first budget cut the EPA’s budget by 24% and reduced its 15,000 employees by 20%.
- On March 28, 2017 Trump signed an executive order directing Pruitt to rescind the Clean Power Plan.
- On April 28, 2017, Pruitt fired scientists from the agency’s 18-member Board of Scientific Counselors, he indicated that he intends to replace them with representatives of industry.
Withdrawal from the Paris Accord
Pruitt is infamous for rejecting the scientific consensus that human activities are the primary contributor to climate change and he called for the United States to abandon the Paris Climate Accord months before Trump announced his decision to do so.
Karma in the Wind!
Can it be sweet justice or simply karma that the largest clean energy, wind power investment in the United States is in Scott Pruitt’s own backyard. Will he be plugged in?
General Motors plugs into Wind Power
GM just announced that it will buy enough wind power to operate seven of its assembly plants in Ohio and Indiana that build the Chevrolet Cruze, the Silverado and the GMC Sierra.
“Technology is driving solutions for mobility and safety in our vehicles, as well as the new energy solutions that build them,” GMNA vice president Gerald Johnson. “This is the way we do business: offering vehicles that serve our customers’ lifestyle needs while providing sustainable solutions that improve our communities.”
This announcement follows on GM’s plan to use wind to power 100 percent of its Arlington, Texas, facility where more than 100,000 SUV’s are assembled annually. Wind power’s low cost, down 66 percent since 2009, makes it an attractive option for GM as it moves toward its 100 percent renewable goal.
Mary Barra, GM CEO confirms that “pursuit of renewable energy benefits our customers and communities through cleaner air while strengthening our business through lower and more stable energy costs.”
Huggies love wind power! Did I really write that?
Kimberly-Clark the maker of Huggies and Kleenex announced it will soon look to wind farms in Oklahoma and Texas to supply 33% of its energy needs.
“It’s a powerful demonstration of sustainability initiatives having both great environmental and business benefits,” said Lisa Morden, Kimberly-Clark’s global head of sustainability.
Wind Power energizes the Fortune 500
Of the 153 large corporations surveyed by Greentech Media and Apex Clean Energy, eighty-four percent of respondents intend to actively pursue using renewable energy over the next five to 10 years, with 43 percent planning to move aggressively in the next 24 months. Price was a leading factor in making this decision, stated sixty-five percent of the surveyed companies.
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By Bob Frerck, Blue Ocean Network
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