Tulsa and Tesla: Newest Battleground in EV Fight

Washington (GGM) Analysis | July 15, 2020 by Erika Browning

In 1901, oil was discovered in Tulsa—the Red Fork area to be exact, which is where my grandfather lives to this day. Within a short five years, Tulsa was declared the “Oil Capital of the World”. This title has been worn proudly by this incredible little city for well over a century. It’s a source of pride that locals have rigs on their land or receive mineral rights for oil supplies.

Beyond Tulsa’s history, its present is also wrapped up in oil. Conoco Phillips is headquartered just a short 45 minutes away in Bartlesville. Oil giants like Waite Phillips, and William Skelly made astronomical amounts of money off the oil that sits underneath the city. When oil prices dip, the effects are felt economically by thousands of Oklahomans. Financial investments depreciate, jobs are on the cutting board, and families worry about paying bills. And that’s just a threat that can be seen coming—let alone when an unforeseen shock to the system occurs. The latter effect was painfully felt when my husband’s company laid off a significant number of its workers during the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis. This is a company that hasn’t had such a layoff in its entire 100 years.

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Twitter – @GovStitt

Despite its reliance on oil, Tulsa is also a thriving, progressive city. Citizens are constantly looking for ways to improve the quality of life. I often call Tulsa “my little purple mecca in a desperately red state”. In June 2020, it was announced that Tulsa was in the final running for Elon Musk’s new Tesla truck plant—against Austin, TX. While I do sincerely love the diversity and culture in Austin, Tulsa desperately needs this.

The Tesla Cybertruck Gigafactory would bring in up to 10,000 jobs to a city that deserves to be appreciated. Tulsa offers the romantic pull of Route 66, a diverse populus and a storied history of hard working men and women. There are currently several charging stations for electric vehicles in the Tulsa area, with many more planned as the need arises. With the apparent reversal of our local energy dependence on the horizon, some die-hard oil folk might be resistant to the idea of Tesla being such a prominent fixture in Tulsa. But I assure you, more citizens are in complete support of this move than not.

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Twitter – @Tulsa4Tesla

Why can’t oil and renewable energy coexist? Sure, the goal is ultimately to end our dependence on fossil fuels, especially if we have any hope of leaving a sustainable planet for future generations. One thing I have learned about my fellow citizens is this: we are reluctant to change but when given the right guidance and tools, we don’t need to be afraid. It could be just the step we need to kickstart climate change in the right direction in one of the most conservative, oil-dependant states in the US.

Oklahomans aren’t stupid, we are proud. We are a large group of people who have had to adapt for generations. Change may take a bit more time, and we are behind the coastal states, but I believe this could make a great impact in leading to change. I also firmly believe that should the country see such a deep red, oil loving state turn its sights to EVs, it could snowball through to the rest of the red states. ♻️

© Copyright 2018 – 2020. ALL Rights Reserved.

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No More Oil | A Call to Action

Washington (GGM) Analysis | July 14, 2020 by Erika Browning

We have all heard the warnings. Personally, I can’t remember a time in all my 42 years where the big “what ifs” weren’t on a constant loop. What if we don’t loosen our grip on fossil fuel? What if we don’t find alternative energies? What if we don’t recycle & continue to fill up precious land with our garbage? 

My questions go a bit deeper. As an expat living in Europe, I was utterly shocked at the lengths people go to to try to turn back the doomsday clock on climate change. 

Imagine how baffled I was when I learned that not only are Europeans, (Germans specifically) willing to work towards saving the planet, they are adamant about it. Don’t dare try to stick a plastic bottle in a regular rubbish bin. Car not up-to-par on emissions standards? You’ll be needing a new one that can pass muster. I took trains all over that magnificent countryside. Fields of solar panels lined the tracks in several regions, side by side with fields of hops or vineyards. Modern windmills generate energy, dotting quaint farms that don’t look as if history has touched their walls in centuries. 

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Twitter – @SamTalksTesla

Coming from a lifetime in the United States, specifically a city that was quite literally built on a giant oil well, I’ve fully experienced the rabid grip this country has on its oil. As I write, I am looking across the river at massive refineries, smelling the by-products & seeing lights flicker as workers pass by. When an organization does something like offering up alternatives to oil, the whole state gets fired up. This is people’s livelihood! This is people’s land that has provided for them for well over a hundred years. 

These are people whose whole lives have revolved around oil: whether it be production, sales, manufacturing, or, of course, consumption. I suppose the difference between here and Europe could be something as simple as “cultural history”. But I believe more strongly that most of the reasons that Americans are so opposed to change is information related, whether accurate or not. 

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Twitter – @ClausMiler17

We all can agree that something must change. Someone, somewhere must find a way to point their fellow countrymen in the right direction. But how? Let’s start with education. For the next several weeks I will be sharing some ideas, both large and small scale, that you can use as a consumer to make a positive change. I will be dutifully researching various methods that worked elsewhere and finding paths to apply those same methods in this incredible country. 

Whether it’s setting up a recycling program in your area, or petitioning for charging stations for electric vehicles, we will come up with some easy ways to make changes to your community, and maybe some ways that will be met with some resistance but also with the tools you’ll need to get these ideas in play.

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Twitter – @JohnEG78

We have to do better. Our kids and grandkids deserve to live life in a safe environment that won’t be detrimental to their health and well-being. It’s time to start caring about the planet we are leaving behind, in fact, it’s past time.  

© Copyright 2018 – 2020. ALL Rights Reserved.

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