Monday, June 1, 2009

Look what the wind blew in

It's the BBC in our 'hood.

They're taking a British look at Oldham County. The network came to see which way the wind blows in the Panhandle, making the point that support for the renewable energy source crosses political lines. It’s really more about the money. Yeah, there are a lot of landowners excited about getting turbines on their land and a lot of economic development people abuzz about support businesses for the industry setting up here.
And the counties and schools that depend on taxes for life are making deals left and right for tax abatements to get developers to plant turbines in their areas. Even forgiving taxes have made Oldham and its schools richer with payments in lieu of taxes from Edison Mission, a California energy giant operating in the county.

The BBC story focuses on the land, Mike Baca’s in particular. He’s got some of the Wildorado Wind Ranch on his place and couldn’t be happier.

Here’s an excerpt from Baca. He's the one with the poodle:
"From the porch of his ranch-house - Tuscan with a Texan twist - at the floor of a verdant canyon he can sip bourbon and watch the giant blades turning a perpetual profit.
"I like them. And I like the cheque that comes with them,’ he says. ‘I could do with a few more of them. We have to be concerned about what the world will be like for our grandchildren. If the turbines get noisy I can just switch on the fountain."

Oldham County Judge Donny Allred remains strong in his support of wind while awaiting the expansion of the wind ranch by Cielo Wind and Edison Mission. That will mean a whole lot more revenue for the wide-open county that has more cattle than people.

And that’s not a bad thing. I live there so I can testify. But it’s kind of funny to see the BBC cameraman’s fascination with cattle, down to the slightly snotty nose on one. Watch the video at the bottom of this post.

Another excerpt, this time from Allred:
"This is the most perfect marriage of two industries - wind and cattle ranching," he says. "They were made for each other."
You can barely see the turbine in the background in the photo at the left.

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