News released this week that Oklahoma now is ranked second nationally when it comes to wind-powered electricity prompted Sierra Club leaders to offer criticism of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. And to blast the oil and gas industry.
In an email statement, Johnson Bridgwater, President of the Oklahoma Chapter of the Club said, “Despite wind energy’s increasing success in Oklahoma, the state’s former attorney general and the current U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator, Scott Pruitt, has continued to ignore wind energy development and instead focused on making billionaire fossil fuel executives richer.”
The original announcement came from the American Wind Energy Association’s U.S. Wind Industry Fourth Quarter 2017 Market Report. In it, the association said Oklahoma overtook Iowa for second place nationally for electricity capacity from wind power.
Bridgewater accused the former Oklahoma Attorney General of supporting major budget cuts to wind energy development and research and undermining clean air and water protections. He said Pruitt is putting “the profits of oil, coal, and fracked gas industries ahead of public health.”
“Despite the jobs, innovation, and investment flooding into Oklahoma from the booming wind sector , Pruitt continues in his campaign of thwarting the state’s clean energy economy in favor of fossil fuels,” added the Chapter Director.
“It’s a tragedy that Scott Pruitt doesn’t support Oklahoma’s wind industry, which is creating jobs and investments across our state. Wind energy creates real economic opportunities in rural areas, creating much needed tax revenues that prevent rural schools from shuttering their doors.”
He said the wind industry is providing the state with clean, cheap energy that doesn’t make communities sick with air and water pollution.
“We need more officials to support the wind industry. Scott Pruitt, however, only works to make fossil fuel billionaires richer by removing clean air and water protections — putting the health of Oklahoma communities at risk.”