Editor: Enron pulled the same scam.
Google-Enron,Al Gore,Maurice Strong and Bill Clinton to appreciate the origins of the wind scam
Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens launched a media blitz this week to
announce his plan for us “to escape the grip of foreign oil.” Now he’s
got himself stuck between a crock and a wind farm.
Announced via TV commercials, media interviews, a July 9 Wall Street
Journal op-ed and a Web site, Pickens wants to substitute wind power
for the natural gas used to produce about 22 percent of our electricity
and then to substitute natural gas for the conventional gasoline used
to power vehicles.
Pickens claims this plan can be accomplished within 10 years, reduce
our dependence on foreign oil, reduce the cost of transportation,
create thousands of jobs, reduce our carbon footprint and “build a
bridge to the future, giving us time to develop new technologies.”
It sounds great and gets even better, according to Pickens. Don’t
sweat the cost, he says, “It will be accomplished solely through
private investment with no new consumer or corporate taxes or
government regulation.” What’s not to like?
First, it’s worth noting Pickens’ claim made in the op-ed that his
plan requires no new government regulation. Two sentences later,
however, he calls on Congress to “mandate” wind power and its
subsidies. Next, Pickens relies on a 2008 Department of Energy study
claiming the U.S. could generate 20 percent of its electricity from
wind by 2030.
Setting aside the fact that the report was produced in consultation
with the wind industry, the 20-by-2030 goal is quite fanciful.
Even if wind technology significantly improves, electrical
transmission systems (how electricity gets from the power source to
you) are greatly expanded and environmental obstacles (such as
environmentalists who protest wind turbines as eyesores and
bird-killing machines) can be overcome, the viability of wind power
depends on where, when and how strong the wind blows — none of which is
Wind farm-siting depends on the long-term forecasting of wind
patterns, but climate is always changing. When it comes to wind power,
it is not simply “build it and the wind will come.” Even the momentary
loss of wind can be a problem. As Reuters reported on Feb. 27, “Loss of wind causes Texas power grid emergency.”
The electric grid operator was forced to curtail 1,100 megawatts of
power to customers within 10 minutes. Wind isn’t a standalone power
source. It needs a Plan B for when the wind “just don’t blow.”
This contrasts with coal- or gas-fired electrical power, which can
be produced on demand and as needed. A great benefit of modern
technology is that it liberates us from Mother Nature’s harsh whims.
Pickens wants to re-enslave us with 12th century technology.
Then there’s the cost of the 20-by-2030 goal — $43 billion more than
the cost of non-wind assets, according to the DOE — and this doesn’t
include many billions of dollars more for additional transmission
lines. Could the 20-by-2030 goal even be accomplished?
By Steven Milloy
Steven Milloy publishes JunkScience.com and DemandDebate.com. He
is a junk science expert, advocate of free enterprise and an adjunct
scholar at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.