AGW Today: The Pickens Plan

So, I received an email last night asking why I haven’t commented on the Pickens Plan, since I write about anthropogenic global warming so much. The simple answer is, I have been waiting for the plan to be released ever since I started hearing about it on the radio, followed by TV ads. So far, the “Plan” is no more then an outline of ideas. There is little detail of the how, so it is not a plan at this time.

It has many good ideas. More solar and wind. More natural gas. All great. But, there is no detail, and, quite frankly, to think that we could replace all our current oil usage with those three is fanciful.

Solar: right now, at best, there is only a 15% return. Furthermore, it takes approximately 5 square miles of CLEAR CUT land for the receptors to light up San Diego. In other words, we would have to cut down quite a few trees, and, we cannot do that everywhere. Plus, what of when it is cloudy and/or dark? There are no batteries available to hold supplemental power for when it is cloudy and when it is night time.

Wind? It is not windy everywhere or all the time, and, like solar, it requires land. Lots. Some areas would be good, such as near the seashores where the land is almost worthless. I was recently in Atlantic City, and much of the land would be perfect. Matter of fact, they do have some wind generators. They could easily put up many more. Same with the “swamps of NJ” up in the middle northern part of the state.

Paul Driessen at Townhall takes this on

Wind power is intermittent, unreliable, noisy and expensive (even with subsidies). Many modern turbines are 400 feet tall and carry 130-foot-long, 7-ton blades that slice up raptors and other birds. They operate only 8 hours a day, on average, compared to 85% of the time for coal, gas and nuclear plants. They rarely provide power during peak summer daytime hours, when air-conditioning demand is highest, but wind speed is low to nonexistent.

Using wind to replace all gas-fired power plants would require some 300,000 1.5-MW turbines, covering Midwestern “wind belt” acreage equivalent to South Carolina. The noise, scenic impacts and bird kills caused by such an “eco-friendly” energy source defy imagination.

Pickens leaves out the best solutions, coal and nuclear. And he provides nothing more then feel good “we can do this with alternative energy!” type answers that are soundbites, not plans. There is little depth. Once I see some ideas of how to implement his so-called “plan,” perhaps I would back it more, along with more nuclear and coal. But, I’ll wait for detail.

John Hawkins, though, catches something interesting

So, why is T. Boone Pickens pushing wind so hard? Might I suggest that it’s because he has invested a great deal of money into wind power and wants government help getting his money back out of it? From the Wall Street Journal in Sept of last year,

“Another major venture in the works (for T. Boone Pickens) is a 4,000-megawatt wind farm to be built in Texas by Mesa Power in a plan unveiled earlier this year. It would be the world’s largest upon completion, with a cost of up to $6 billion.” 

The real “Pickens’ plan” probably has a lot more to do with convincing people that billions of tax dollars need to be transferred into T. Boone Pickens’ pockets than it does with meeting America’s energy needs.

Sound like Pickens has been listening to Al Gore and following his model.

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3 Responses to “AGW Today: The Pickens Plan”

  1. Dona Tracy says:

    Well done! My belief is that many environmentalists have painted themselves into a corner where nuclear power is concerned and they will clutch at any feel good (non) solution just to save face.

  2. Duncan says:

    I think you have made a good point ’bout how this is probably more about business than any feelings of bettering society or “clean fuels”. I have no particular problem with wind and solar power, hell, its “free”. But with the current costs to put up such power sources for the home, its prohibitive, and bulky (as with home windmills), and they still don’t power your AC unit if it is running, why bother making the investment. And everybody knows that such power sources are not the end answer to our power needs. What people need to get through their thick skulls is that any generation of power, especially one that can fit our needs on a reliable and continuous basis, is going to have waste, whether the dreaded greenhouse gases, or spent nuclear fuel. Hey, I’m all for cold fusion , but I am not seeing that as an option any time soon..

  3. Some interesting reads…….

    Somethings I found today that I read and thought I would share with you guys:
    Obama – Our Savior
    Yep, Obama, our Lord and Savior, is back saying things, but not really saying them. For instance… he’s playing the race card, but as a McCain a…

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