OG&E has applied to the Oklahoma Corporation Commission
to levy four new tariffs
to residential and business customers
who have solar panels.

The proposed residential TOU tariff (R-TOU-kW) includes a monthly customer charge ($18.00), a demand charge ($2.68/kW), on-peak ($0.173/kWh) and off-peak energy charges ($0.0137/kWh), and fuel charges.

The proposed commercial TOU tariff (COM-TOU-kW) includes a monthly customer charge ($34.75), a demand charge ($3.30/kW), on-peak ($0.1875/kWh) and off-peak energy charges $0.0143/kWh), and fuel charges.

In addition, if the customer generates more solar power
than they use that month,
they will not receive any compensation
for net access. (This is also true of Kay Rural Electric cooperative,
which services Turtle Rock Farm,
where both of our houses have solar panels.)

The Oklahoma legislature made this tariff possible
by passing packaged legislation presented by ALEC
last legislative session. One U.S. utility company,
has already levied demand charges on solar customers.
In that state, solar installations have decreased
by 98 percent. Of course, people have lost jobs as well.

Making the transition from burning fossil fuel,
which causes global warming and climate change,
to alternative fuels is financially painful
for some; many in Oklahoma.
But so was ending slavery.
Both transitions were/are moral imperatives.
This time,
moving from fossil fuels to renewable energy
is about revering life on this planet.

The powerful fossil fuel industry
is going to great lengths
to prevent development of renewable energy.
In Oklahoma, fossil fuel company executives
and university presidents
serve on each others’ boards of directors,
with compensation close to that of the salaries
of the university presidents.
Bloomberg News reported earlier this year
that Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm,
a major donor to OU (and OU President David Boren
sits on the CR board) told an OU dean
that he wanted certain OU scientists dismissed
who were studying the links between
oil and gas activity
and the 400-fold increase in Oklahoma earthquakes.
The state’s top seismologist, Austin Holland,
was called into “a little bit intimidating” meeting
with Hamm in Boren’s office.
This summer Holland left Oklahoma to go to work
as a supervisory geophysicist at the U.S. Geological Survey
Seismic Lab in Albuquerque, NM.

And this week comes the revelation
from Inside Climate News and the LA Times
that in the 1980’s Exxon scientists told Exxon executives
that climate change is real,
dangerous and caused by fossil fuels.
Exxon’s climate models accurately predicted
the global temperatures that have occurred since.
But Exxon executives publicly cast doubt
that climate change is real, insisted
the planet is cooling, and funded campaigns
to manufacture doubt about climate change
that its own scientists had confirmed as real.

So, Oklahoma,
we invite everyone to participate
in three events this week
that we are participating in.
Monday evening, 5:30-7, there will be
an Interfaith Prayer Vigil for Solar in Oklahoma
outside the Corporation Commission offices,
Jim Thorpe Building, 2101 N. Lincoln Blvd, Oklahoma City.

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And Thursday evening at St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral,
Pat will present the spiritual foundation for environmental care
as one of three panelists during
An Evening of Conversation: Climate Change is Real.
Other panelists are Cimarron Presbytery Stated Clerk Deborah Meinke,
presenting the science,
and Jim Roth, Murrah Law Firm,
talking about what we in Oklahoma can do.
Rev. Tim Luschen, Charles Borromeo Catholic Church, is moderator.
6:30 p.m.
127 NW 7th Street., Oklahoma City.
The event is free and open to the public.

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Wednesday, at 10 a.m., at St. Paul’s Cathedral,
Oklahoma Conference of Churches is holding
a news conference in which,
in advance of the UN Climate Summit
in Paris beginning November 30,
representatives of many faith traditions in Oklahoma
will speak to the necessity of nations to commit
to lowering carbon emissions.

Back at Turtle Rock Farm,
we, who have long lived in—
and yes, benefited from—
an oil and gas field,
are thrilled to welcome a wind farm
that will stretch twenty miles
from Billings to Bressie.
It is our understanding that this wind farm
will supply energy
to the currently coal-fired
Sooner OG&E plant.