Image: Oklahoma State University
If you're heading south through Oklahoma on the 177, keep an eye your passenger side window out as you pass through Stillwater. If it's a clear day, you'll catch a glimpse of the Cowboy Wind Farm.
The cowboy wind farm is brilliant. It's the brand new wind power plant outside of Oklahoma State University, and it was just switched on last month. So, locally, it's picked up the nickname 'cowboy wind farm' on account of the school's mascot. Last month, the state's governor, Marry Fallin, dropped by for the power station's opening ceremony, and she even dubbed it that.
"Wind is a clean source of energy, it's a sustainable source of energy," she said. "And best of all, it's right here in Oklahoma."
"We're here to celebrate the cowboy wind farm," Burns Hargis, the president of OSU added, noting that he's proud of the progress it represents in the state's commitment to sustainable and renewable power. According to the Oklahoman, "the project has 26 turbines and a total capacity of almost 60 megawatts." It will ensure that OSU runs on 70% clean energy.
The fact that there even is such a thing as a 'cowboy wind farm in Oklahoma' demonstrates that wind power has finally crossed that threshold—it's no longer hippie power, future power, or, god forbid, liberal power. It's American power. It's just power, and power that people are proud of. And anyone is free to appropriate the cultural significance of that power however they'd like. In New York, they can drape their wind power plans in a veneer of futurism, because they're obbsessed with being cutting edge, a city of progress. In Oklahoma, the cowboy is an animating force, so hell yeah. Bring on the cowboy wind power.
Another thought: The governor of Oklahoma is committed to clean energy. The Oklahoma crowd goes nuts over a wind farm. This is a deep red state. Where's the supposed animus against renewable energy coming from, again? Not from the cowboys. Hell, one of them's a wind farm now. It's official.
Nope, it's coming from an elite group of Fox-ish pundits and politico assholes based in east coast cities, whose bread and butter has long been telling the 'heartland' what a cowboy really is. They're the ones who have an incentive to trash talk clean energy, on behalf of their oil exec buddies, not the average Oklahoman. Well, this might finally throw a wrench in their system. Cowboys, I hear, don't take kindly to being talked down to.