When I was a kid…..Part 1

Yes, I am that old now. Urgh, I don’t want to be but I’m starting to embrace it, I guess.

Remember the “Don’t Lay That Trash on Oklahoma” anti-littering campaign in the ’80’s? If you are not from Oklahoma you may not, so I guess this post is for all the Okies in the room.

Here is a link to the ODOT commercial spot used during the campaign.

We had a huge problem with littering in this state and to help, this campaign was developed to try and curb the littering. There is an article from Jan 31, 2015 by  Ginnie Graham, click here to read it, in the Tulsa World regarding the ODOT campaign and a few numbers covering cost for the state. When I would travel with my family on the turnpike or any other major highway there always seemed to be trash cans where you could dispose of your trash instead of throwing it out the window or dumping it somewhere. The efforts seemed to help, but with time it was allowed to fade away. I feel we have a growing litter and pollution problem again, I’m not saying the problem went away completely before, but at least the campaign kept attention on the issue. I think its a good idea to have reminders every once in a while to do the right thing. Like the big Oklahoma family I feel we are, we all need to do our parts to keep the house clean. So, “Don’t Lay That Trash on Oklahoma.”

Litter in the main pond at Centennial Park, Tulsa, OK


A Coors beer can floats in the water at the Centennial Park Tulsa, OK.

Anyways, one of the reasons I brought this up is because I’ve restarted an old photo project I began sometime ago. The project is about the watershed here in Tulsa and how interconnected we are as individuals and as a community to it and the rest of the water system. Littering is a big part of the pollution that we put into the water system but it is by far not the only part. The pond at Centennial Park is a part of the storm drainage system, as such it will collect debris and other pollutants from the surrounding area.

Non-Point and Point pollution are huge factors in how water is being polluted.

Non-Point Source Pollution, NPS pollution is caused by rainfall or snow-melt moving over and through the ground. As the runoff moves, it picks up and carries away natural and human-made pollutants, finally depositing them into lakes, rivers, wetlands, coastal waters and ground waters. This disciption of NPS pollution is a brief breakdown of what it is, on the EPA site there is a more in depth definition.  This illustration from NOAA is a basic visualization of how NPS pollution works.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines point source pollution as “any single identifiable source of pollution from which pollutants are discharged, such as a pipe, ditch, ship or factory smokestack”

To see a current, happening right now, example of how our actions affect the environment all you have to do is look at what is going on in the Gulf Mexico this year. NOAA announced that this year’s dead zone is the biggest one ever measured. It covers 8,776 square miles — an area the size of New Jersey.

To be continued…


Oklahoma Wind Energy

Chisholm View Wind Project, Northeast of Enid, OK ©Billy Sauerland

In 2010 Oklahoma adopted a goal of generating 15% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2015. Wind power accounted for 18.4% of the electricity generated in Oklahoma during 2015. At the end of 2015, Oklahoma’s installed wind generation capacity was 5184 MW.


Being centrally located, the western half of Oklahoma is in America’s wind corridor, which stretches from Canada into North Dakota and Montana, south into west Texas, where the vast majority of the country’s best on-shore wind resources are located.  Oklahoma has the potential to install 517,000 MW of wind turbines, capable of generating 1,521,652 GWh each year. This is over one third of all the electricity generated in the United States in 2011.

The Economics

Oklahoma’s wind resources are the eighth best in the United States. The total number of direct and indirect jobs in the state from wind power development is estimated to be between 1,000 and 2,000.

Oklahoma ended the half-cent tax credit for wind by July 2017. All zero-emission rebates were $60 million in the 2014 tax year.

©Billy Sauerland


Some of the wind farms in Oklahoma include:

The $3.5 billion, 800 mile, Plains & Eastern Clean Line transmission line was approved in 2012, which will when completed in 2017 have the capacity to deliver 7,000 MW of wind power. As of April, 2017, Clean Line Energy Partners did not have any binding contracts to provide electricity to an electric utility. The only tentative, nonbinding, agreement Clean Line was able to obtain was for 50 MW of capacity.

In 2010 Oklahoma adopted a goal of generating 15% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2015.

Wind power accounted for 18.4% of the electricity generated in Oklahoma during 2015. At the end of 2015, Oklahoma’s installed wind generation capacity was 5184 MW.

(All information for post was obtained from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the US Department of Energy. All of this information and more available for view to the public at their sites.)

Under good leadership at state and local levels and combined with proper incentives Oklahoma could lead the country in wind energy. This is just another reason to get our and vote. Here are links to help you find where your county election boards are and where you can register and where your polling places are Oklahoma State Election Board.