Chair Force Engineer

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Picken' on the Feds

Oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens is making waves by turning over a new leaf in a bold fashion. He's proposing an alternative energy plan which, among other things, would build more wind turbines to generate electricity. In turn, this would free up natural gas to replace petroleum in automobiles.

In general, I see much to like with the basics of the Pickens Plan. But I have to ask how we can implement such an ambitious undertaking. Elected leaders and government employees in a position of influence have a responsibility to set the example for Americans to follow. Alternative energy should be no exception.

Every year, government agencies purchase thousands of fleet vehicles. What would be the impact of guaranteeing a market for natural gas cars by mandating that a fraction of new government vehicles run on natural gas? What if every Defense Department and Department of Energy installation had a natural gas fueling station? It would certainly be an impressive start for the Pickens Plan.

But let's go one step further. Why not supplement the electrical needs of DoD and DoE installations through wind turbines? Or allow private wind-farms on stretches of federal land that are suited for the purpose?

When it comes to alternative energy, the United States has a long ways to go until it achieves its energy independence from the nations that breed terrorism, and from despots & mafiosos. If the government practiced what it preached, it would be a bold step towards this goal.