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In the Heart of the Blackland Divide

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Roscoe Wind Farm in International News

An aerial view of the wind farm northwest of Roscoe.
The Roscoe Wind Farm continues to be an international news item.  It was in the national news once again this past week with mention  in a June 7 New York Times article entitled, “The Gas is Greener,” written by Robert Bryce.  

Unfortunately, the article was apparently written with an agenda, namely, to promote gas production at the expense of renewable energy sources.  In it, the author falsely leads readers to assume that the placement of wind turbines on a farm automatically makes the farm permanently unusable for anything else, such as raising cotton or livestock.  He also wrongly claims that the noise from the turbines drives the people off the property.  

While most local folks have nothing against the tapping of the nation’s vast gas reserves, to promote the process by misstating the facts about wind energy is unfair, to say the least. (To read the article, click here.)

The Roscoe Wind Farm gets more positive treatment in a well-written and well-photographed article scheduled to appear in the September issue of Cowboys & Indians, a magazine which bills itself as “The Premier Magazine of the West.”  As other media have done, the article tells the story of Cliff Etheredge’s successful quest to bring wind energy to the Roscoe area.  In doing so, it quotes my mention of the positive effect that tax revenues from the wind farms have had on the local school, and, in passing, it also has some nice things to say about Roscoe’s downtown restaurant, the Lumberyard.  

In addition, the Roscoe Wind Farm is still attracting global interest.  On Thursday, Cliff Etheredge was visited by a team of four Japanese, two men and two women, who interviewed him for an upcoming  documentary for Japanese Public Television about the effects of deregulation on the wind industry in the United States.

And that’s not all.  Etheredge is also in touch with a Canadian group from Toronto making a show about the benefits of wind farms.   He is also working with a Dallas company on a video for the Texas Workforce Commission about employment opportunities in the wind industry. 


The Camp Boothe Oaks Fire as seen from the Maryneal Highway on Friday afternoon.

Several local volunteer fire departments, including those from Roscoe, Maryneal, Lake Sweetwater, and Nolan joined the Texas Forest Service and the Sweetwater Fire Department in battling a wildfire that burned southeast of Roscoe on Friday and Saturday.  

Dubbed the Camp Boothe Oaks Fire, it started early Friday afternoon when Ralph Lynch set fire to a deer carcass near a barn next to County Road 145 just south of Lake Trammell.  From there strong south winds carried the fire northward. 

Some 500 acres burned, and the Sweetwater Fire Department reportedly lost a truck during the operation.  Texas Forest Service helicopters drew water from Lake Trammell, and bulldozers joined fire trucks in battling the blaze. Lynch was ticketed for starting a fire during a burn ban.



If nothing else, temperatures around Roscoe have been consistent over the last couple of weeks.  Highs in the 99°-105°F range and lows in the low seventies have been accompanied by clear, sunny skies with south and southwest winds 15 to 25mph.  

Sunday’s high was 102°, Monday’s 104°, and yesterday’s 105°.  Today's is forecast at 103° and tomorrow's 105°. Precipitation of any kind has been noticeably and depressingly absent.  Unfortunately, the forecast for the coming week is for more of the same with sunny, windy days and afternoon highs of 101°-105°F.    

At last night’s meeting, the City Council unanimously approved the purchase of the Huffmeyer property, i.e., the lot now used as a downtown park across the street from the City Hall, where the Roscoe Times office used to stand. 

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