T. Boone Pickens was right to push his Pickens Plan if for one key reason alone: Texas is the capital for gas and wind. Can I hear an amen? I mean we Texans understand how to generate seemingly endless gas and wind. Y’all know I’m right.
Now here in Texas most of us have already concluded that the coincidence of T. Boone owning lots of natural gas and steadily increasing his production of wind while promoting his plan of powering America with said resources is a bit too fortunate for T. Boone’s bottom to be completely altruistic. (Did I just leave “line” off of “bottom?” Whoops.) Altruism aside, Pickens may actually be right.
While natural gas is obviously still a fossil fuel it does burn more cleanly, releasing up to 30% less carbon dioxide than petroleum (and 45% less than coal). The natural gas Honda Civic has been the cleanest emissions emitting car for several years. And we have all figured out by now that if an electric car is charged using coal power electrical plants that we still have a problem.
Meanwhile wind powered generators are becoming increasingly available and practical for the common home owner. Wind farms are running into some problems with peek hours and transmission loss, but so what. Wind’s real potential lies in generating supplemental power on location for thousands of homeowners. Every month new residential wind generators hit the market, and they are becoming less obtrusive, more affordable and more productive.
There also looms the potential of fuel cells capable of transforming natural gas into electricity at efficiency levels we hadn’t dreamed of a decade ago. The highest profile of these fuel cells is known as the Bloom Box. While the Box most likely over hypes its abilities it should at least bump natural gas efficiency helping it become not only a clean burning option, but also an efficient one.
So with the use of natural gas vehicles (available now) or electrics charged with residential wind generators supplemented with natural gas fuel cells we could all benefit from more gas and wind. This could be the third great thing Texas contributes to America (the first two being Dr. Pepper and Willie Nelson).