Monday, July 06, 2009
During a flight over West Texas last week, I spotted something very odd from the window. At first glance, it seemed to be a hilly subdivision, with roads winding through some hills.
I've seen things like that plenty of times, but something drew my attention back to the ground. There was something funny about this "subdivision." What was with the light poles?
Or were they light poles?
I took a closer look and saw that I was actually looking at massive wind farm, most likely part of the Horse Hollow Wind Energy Center, based on my best guess of our flight path. Its size, to which even the image shown here can't do justice, was mind-boggling. It stretched all the way to the horizon and I probably spent several minutes looking at it, stunned at how huge it is, before simply becoming bored with it. I began to wonder when environmentalists will finally add scarring of the earth along with their complaints about bird deaths to their objections to the technology. Every tower sat on a parcel of cleared land.
In any event, I was also reminded of something I encountered about a year ago concerning a scheme by T. Boone Pickens for the government to force the American economy to shift towards wind generation as a primary source of electricity. Back then, I wondered:
If wind power were really such a great cash cow, why can't or won't Pickens finance this himself? Why insulate him from losses if he's wrong, while guaranteeing that everyone in Texas will subsidize his next fortune at best or take his bath at worst?According to Wikipedia, the "Pickens Plan" -- of which the fleecing of his fellow Texans was just a part -- would cost $1 trillion. Not that this Congress has shown one jot of resistance to the temptation to spend huge amounts of money or micromanage our lives, but Pickens continues his full-court press for this scheme.
In fact, Pickens even seems to have borrowed a page from Barack Obama's playbook, busy as he is "organizing the New Energy Army in every Congressional District" in the name of "[telling] Congress to reduce our dependence on foreign oil." Too bad this approach -- which is just a type of central planning -- will only result in America needlessly restricting its access to cheap, reliable energy. Think "Terror-Free Oil" -- but without the oil.
Ever since I first moved to Texas when I was seventeen, the "big sky" of its flat landscape always made me think of America's vast potential. But now, thanks to T. Boone Pickens, whose government mooching is a betrayal of his American heritage, it is being transformed into a symbol of massive government waste and tyranny, one windmill at a time.