OKLAHOMANS need few reminders of the importance of the energy industry to the state. They'll get more reminders next week as the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs holds an energy summit on Tuesday and an American Energy Alliance (AEA) bus tour makes a stop here on Friday.
One in every seven Oklahoma jobs is directly or indirectly tied to energy, according to the AEA. The group's bus tour has already logged more than 2,000 miles to spotlight the continued importance of fossil fuels in the age of renewable energy mania. The bus will be at the Oklahoma History Center near the state Capitol at 9 a.m. Friday.
OCPA's National Policy Summit on Energy & Federalism is scheduled for the new Devon Energy Center in downtown Oklahoma City. Panel discussions will focus on national security and state and federal regulations.
Energy's importance is highlighted monthly in reports on state revenues and demonstrated daily by the thousands of industry employees who live, work and shop in the state. Fossil fuel is still cool here. May it be so for a long time to come.
By the way, those buses that ferry Barack Obama campaigners around the country this fall won't be running on solar power.
Making the grade
Less than two weeks before their runoff, two men trying to win a state Senate seat find themselves defending their educations. Ron Sharp and Ed Moore meet in the Republican runoff Aug. 28. The winner will earn the Senate District 17 seat because there's no Democrat in the race. Sharp, a former teacher in Shawnee, got his doctorate online from a California school that was later shut down. State regulators called it a “diploma mill.” Moore, pastor of a Baptist church in Newalla, received his degree from a nonaccredited religious school in Indiana. Both men say they worked hard for their degrees, and there's no reason to think that's not the case. Our guess is Republican voters in District 17 will be most concerned with how either man will represent their interests at the Capitol.
Mixing it up
Water and electricity don't mix. So we were told as children, to overcome our resistance to leaving a swimming hole when a thunderstorm approached. Water and electricity may soon mix in the Bricktown Canal. Plans are to convert the gasoline-powered canal boats to run on electricity, using a federal grant to buy the engines. This would be a quieter, potentially cheaper alternative that also has the potential of being better for the environment. Operators also won't have to carry heavy fuel cans to the boats. Instead, they will plug them. No one swims in the canal (at least not legally), but water and electricity will make a good mix for the water taxis running in Bricktown.
Too hot to handle
Knock on wood, there have been no reported cases in Oklahoma this summer of a child dying inside a broiling hot vehicle. We made it through a merciless July, which saw temperatures exceed 110 degrees on some days, without one of these tragedies occurring. Other states haven't been as fortunate. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, at least 23 children have died from heat stroke this year, including eight during a seven-day stretch at the start of August. That rash of deaths prompted a national alert by the organization. The message: Never leave a child alone in a car and always lock empty vehicles' doors and trunks; create reminders — place your cellphone on the back seat while driving, for example — for you or your caregiver to keep from forgetting a child; and if you see a child unattended in a vehicle, call 911. Good advice, considering that even on mild days, temperatures inside a car can jump nearly 20 degrees in just 10 minutes. And we still have plenty of 90-plus degree days ahead.
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