Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Shift in the Winds?

Now this is refreshing; an oil magnate is preparing to build the biggest wind farm in the world. Even better, it's in Texas. T. Boone Pickens, Jr. (perhaps the greatest "oil man" name in the history of the world) has purchased 600 wind turbines from General Electric and plans to install them on tracts of land throughout the Lone Star State.

Wouldn't you love to see a row of those beauties cutting a swath through Bush's ranch in Crawford? But I digress...

This is only the first part of his grand scheme; one that will eventually see 1800 more turbines installed, generating 4,000 (!) megawatts of power; clean, renewable, efficient, self-reliant power. This is enough to generate electricity for over 1.3 million homes.

Though downplayed thus far in the media, I see this as a tremendous sea change in the thinking of the American 'energy elite'. They recognize the problems, costs and risks associated with the old ways and are innovating and thinking about new and emerging technologies.

It makes one wonder about the leadership (and cognitive) capabilities of our own State's leaders, who recently came to an agreement which allowed American Electric Power to construct a "clean coal" (an oxymoron if there ever was one) plant in Meigs County. Oh, and also to charge Ohio taxpayers $24 million in start-up costs. I don't know about you, but I for one am appalled at the prospect of investing my own money in an outdated, outmoded and environmentally dangerous energy supply, when such great strides are being taken in...Texas of all places!?!