Clean Power

Published on May 17th, 2010 | by Susan Kraemer


Oklahoma Sets a Renewable Energy Standard!

May 17th, 2010 by  

Oklahoma, the state that gave the world Senator James “global warming is a hoax”  Inhofe (R-Big Oil), has just passed a proposed 15% by 2015 Renewable Energy Standard, in the House. The Oklahoma Energy Security Act would have to pass its Senate too, to be the law. Or, as Senator Inhofe has described clean energy legislation; be “a job-killing agenda.”

If it does pass the state Senate, this would make Oklahoma a trailblazer among most Southern states,  in passing legislation to add clean renewable power, albeit as a “goal.” The bill is unusual in that it encourages the development of natural gas, not normally considered a “renewable” source, but still one that has about half the global warming properties of coal.


In the 35 states that now have a Renewable Energy Standard (RES), greenhouse gases have been lowered, compared with states that have no legislation, and green jobs created by adding more renewable power.

Four of the RES states have actually achieved ambitious European-scale greenhouse gas reductions below 1990 levels – while growing their economies an average of 65%.

The measure by House Speaker Chris Benge of Tulsa seeks to reduce dependence on foreign oil and increase domestic energy and renewable energy production in Oklahoma and elsewhere.  The state is blessed with wind potential that was understood even back in the pioneering days.

The legislation calls for 15 percent of all electricity generated in Oklahoma by 2015 be produced from renewable energy like wind, solar and geothermal sources, all of which the state has in abundance. The DOE supplied $3 million in geothermal exploration to Oklahoma in the Recovery Act stimulus, to help jump-start a geothermal industry in the state.

Inhofe has more funding from the fossil industry than any other Senator, at $2,182,631. But back at home, the Oklahoma Oklahoma Energy Security Act passed the House 91-2 Monday and will now go to the state Senate.

Image: Flikr user Rod Murrow

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About the Author

writes at CleanTechnica, CSP-Today and Renewable Energy World.  She has also been published at Wind Energy Update, Solar Plaza, Earthtechling PV-Insider , and GreenProphet, Ecoseed, NRDC OnEarth, MatterNetwork, Celsius, EnergyNow, and Scientific American. As a former serial entrepreneur in product design, Susan brings an innovator's perspective on inventing a carbon-constrained civilization: If necessity is the mother of invention, solving climate change is the mother of all necessities! As a lover of history and sci-fi, she enjoys chronicling the strange future we are creating in these interesting times.    Follow Susan on Twitter @dotcommodity.

  • Loy Brent

    For the record, Oklahoma is not, did not and will not pass mandatory renewable energy standards. Under the leadership of Oklahoma Speaker Chris Benge, the state did pass a law this session setting “voluntary goals” to produce more energy from Oklahoma-produced natural gas and some renewable sources such as wind. Natural gas, unlike wind and coal, generates hundreds of millions of tax dollars to support education and county governments across the state of Oklahoma. Natural gas and wind are ideally compatible energy sources; however, if our nation is serious about truly reducing its dependency on OPEC oil and considerably lowering greenhouse emissions nothing could do it faster and better than using a lot more natural gas to generate electricity.

    • Think I mentioned that these are voluntary,( but still a move in the right direction.) Three states that merely had feeble requirements (Texas: 3%) or “goals” rather than penalties for noncompliance with actual standards, still have gotten familiar enough with renewable power to get to where a constituency develops in the state creating a tipping point driving real changes, as in Texas, and also makes it more likely that stronger standards come next.

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