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Last year, my family spent a lot of time talking about gas prices. Over the winter, we watched others struggle to keep their houses warm. And as the new year began, we saw debates about energy continue in Washington. It’s not just gas prices or the environment we have to worry about – it’s our future.
In America and around the world, we have come to depend on resources we know will not last. Oklahoma has been a leader in providing these resources in the past. We have both oil, coal, and natural gas. These have been enough to keep most of Oklahoman’s happy for decades – these resources brought investment and jobs.
Recently, some of our leaders have begun to look towards the future – when coal and oil reserves are depleted and America depends on either foreign sources – or new, and renewable, resources. Some have realized that Oklahoma may maintain it’s status as a leader throughout this transition. We have been blessed with yet another resource – wind.
Oklahoma’s Lt. Governor, Jari Askins, recently attended the state’s Wind Commerce 2009 conference, where she said “Energy and agriculture have been mainstays of our economy for decades. Wind energy is an opportunity to continue developing the energy industry and continue it moving forward into the 21st century.”.
While speaking to Wind Commerce 2009 attendees, Askins also said “We believe that Oklahoma is perfectly located for us to develop this industry in our state.” She’s right and the facts back her up – wind is a part of Oklahoma’s future. Even Oklahoma State University has started a new degree program for Wind Turbine Technicians.
The Oklahoma Department of Commerce says that our state is currently in the top ten wind energy producers but that we could be one of the top two by 2030. The Secretary of Commerce, Natalie Shirley, has also said that Oklahoma could provide up to 10% of the nation’s energy by around the same time.
Oklahoma needs a leader who sees the writing on the wall – someone who realizes that renewable resources will eventually fully power our nation and that Oklahoma should embrace them early on. Jari Askins stands out as one who understands the importance of wind energy for the state and as Governor, she will support the growth and expansion of the industry.
While other politicians lounge on private planes with Big Oil Executives – she’s out talking to entrepreneurs and businesspeople who know that things are changing quickly and Oklahoma should be ahead of the pack.
She’s also working to ensure that Oklahoma’s future workforce will be prepared to continue the work. By supporting programs and organizations that teach students about these emerging technologies, she will ensure that our students can become our engineers and technicians down the road.
Jari Askins is the best candidate for Governor – her understanding of what has to be done for the future will ensure bright days ahead for our state.
– Chris Collins