Making use of eyesores


For many years we have heard about Superfund sites and brownfields. These abandoned and contaminated sites are not only an eyesore, but are a strain on the local tax base, cause adjacent property values to plummet and can often be hazardous to nearby residents. We don't often hear about how revitalizing these sites can help Oklahoma's communities meet their growing energy needs.

Brownfields will be on the agenda at the annual meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Oklahoma City. Brownfields present challenges to mayors of rural and urban communities, who constantly struggle to find cleanup funds.

But what if instead of using public dollars to clean up these wastelands, private developers were knocking on mayors' doors with solutions for cleanup? One innovative and lucrative way to revitalize brownfields is to use them as locations for wind, solar and other clean-energy facilities...