Economy, Ecology, Equity

Oklahoma Sustainability Network serves to connect and educate the people of Oklahoma concerning the many aspects of sustainability. We are a catalyst and a resource for the improvement of Oklahoma’s economy, ecology, and equity.

Projects

Clean Air & Energy

Since 2007 OSN has actively participated in rulemakings, rate cases, hearings, policy inquiries, and technical conferences at the Corporation Commission, the Department of Environmental Quality, and other venues where energy policy is on the agenda. We encourage the implementation of proven, cost-effective programs and technologies that conserve our resources, protect our airshed and public health, and save money for all of us.

Installation Renewable Technician Solar Panel

OSN has persistently advocated for the development of state-of-the-art energy efficiency rules and programs, including programs specifically designed for low-income customers. We review annual reports from Oklahoma’s regulated utilities and we participate in ongoing stakeholder meetings, established by OSN, at PSO, OG&E, ONG, and CenterPoint. We file expert formal comments in regulatory cases at the Corporation Commission, with an emphasis on defining, quantifying, and monetizing the Cost-Benefit components that are usually left out of the calculations (sometimes called “externalities”) – including water conservation, emissions reductions, and long-term societal value.

Unos operarios hacen tareas de mantenimiento en la turbina de un aerogenerador

OSN also supports policies and proposals for the deployment of low-cost renewable energy, including both large-scale utility solar and smaller distributed solar resources. Oklahoma has a strong heritage of energy leadership, and OSN believes that a diverse portfolio of energy resources will encourage economic development, job creation, and market competition. We advocate for policies and investments that will encourage new business activity across the state, leading to higher productivity, economic resiliency, and safer technologies.

Unlocking the automated controls for the photovoltaic solar cells and well pump, Ned Wood began a life long dream of ranching in 2009, and on Friday, July 24, 2015, he now leads a thriving family business that has endured and will improve the lives of hundreds of his cows, calves and yearlings that graze the approximately 4,000 acres of drought stricken range land in the 6,255 acre East Bay Regional Park District’s Briones Regional Park (http://www.ebparks.org/parks/briones) in Contra Costa County, CA. In 2013, the drought began to dry a vast majority of the man-made ponds and more would no longer hold drinkable water for his cattle.  His decision to cull some of his cattle was incentive enough to seek new ideas and solutions. He went to the USDA NRCS Service Center in Concord, CA for help and received it from District Conservationist Hilary Phillips. The USDA solution, in collaboration with the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD), was to tap into a well resource on recently acquired EBRPD property at the edge of the park. The remote location made use of photovoltaic “solar” panels to power well pumps that draw ground water from hundreds of feet below the surface.  “The current drought has been hard on the land, hard on the cattle and challenging on the financial health of our family business,” says Ned Wood, on the grass lands of expressing sentiments shared by hundreds of California ranchers. Wood, a rancher in the Bay area just east of San Francisco, has unique local conditions that compound the challenging drought conditions.   “Where my family and I ranch in the Bay Area, much of the rangeland has public access and requires the land to be managed differently than private lands,” Wood says. To accommodate this unique intermingling of ranching and public recreating, Wood has developed lines of cattle unlike most in the country. “They have to be well-suited not only for our geographic region but they also need to have the disposition to graze w

In 2008, Governor Henry appointed OSN’s energy policy director to the Air Quality Council at DEQ, where he represented the general public on rulemakings for the Clean Air Act. He was reappointed to the Council by Governor Mary Fallin in 2012 and served a full 7-year term through 2019.

Power saving concept. Asia man changing compact-fluorescent (CFL) bulbs with new LED light bulb.

About OSN

OSN welcomes all individuals interested in any area of sustainability. Interest areas range from agriculture to commerce, energy to education, and design to preservation. We encourage people to communicate, ask questions, request help or advice, submit event information, and relate stories pertaining to their environmental experiences in Oklahoma.

Leadership

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Dr. Isaac Rutel
President

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Eric Pollard
Treasurer

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Hannah Jackson
Secretary

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Dr. Chad Settle
Director At-Large

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Montelle Clark
Director-at-Large
Energy Policy Director

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Gene Perry
Director-at-Large

Local Foods

Community Garden Toolkit
A resource put together by Tulsa non-profit Global Gardens for schools and other community groups just starting a community garden.

The Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture
The Kerr Center offers free information and resources on farming and gardening, raising livestock, and buying and selling locally.

OKGrown
A directory of farmers markets, seasonal availability of fruits and vegetables, and other information about Oklahoma grown food.

Oklahoma Food Cooperative

A marketing network for purchasing food and other items directly from local producers.

Urban Agrarian

A business that runs routes across the state in the Veggie Van—a truck that runs on waste vegetable oil—picking up produce and other locally made food and delivering it to restaurants and markets in central Oklahoma.

Thoughts on Sustainability

“Top 10 Myths about Sustainability” – from Scientific American

“Catastrophe Is Not the Only Option” – Welcome speech by Bob Waldrop at the 2007 OSN Conference

“It’s All About Us” – Keynote speech by Bob Waldrop at the 2006 OSN Conference

“The Ability of Sustainability” – Luncheon speech by Michael Patton at the 2004 OSN Conference