by Arthur Robinson
September 3, 2008
T. Boone Pickens has been advertising widely about his wind energy plan. In radio advertisements, he touts wind power to solve America’s energy deficit, with natural gas -- then freed from electricity generation by wind power -- used to fuel American automobiles. Mr. Pickens says that there are vast areas of Texas available for wind power generation and that he can solve America’s energy problem in this way.
Critics have been countering that the Pickens agenda is really about promotion of natural gas because he owns lots of this commodity. If Mr. Pickens has helped to capitalize the domestic natural gas industry, he is to be applauded. Those who have done so, have provided needed hydrocarbon energy to the people of the United States, and have been justly rewarded with generous profits.
The important part of these radio advertisements, however, comes at their ending statements as Mr. Pickens says that he can solve America’s energy problem, but that, “I need your help.”
Why does T. Boone Pickens, one of America’s most shrewd investors and wealthiest men need the help of American radio listeners? If Texas wind power is a great opportunity, why doesn’t Mr. Pickens just start building wind mills? What does he want from us?
T. Boone wants us to suppress his competitors and subsidize his business. He wants from us the same thing that Al Gore wants -- our votes for Obama, Pelosi, Reid, and company. These politicians are promising to take capital away from the oil industry and from American tax payers and to give that money to the windmill industry. Investors like Gore and Pickens are looking for no-risk windfall profits. If taxpayers pay for the windmills and if politicians suppress their competitors in the oil and nuclear industries, then they will make tons of money -- regardless of the fact that windmills are inefficient, environmentally unfriendly, expensive, impractical energy generators.
Obama, Pelosi, Reid, and their congressional retainers will, if elected in November, oppressively regulate and de-capitalize the nuclear energy and oil industries -- and subsidize the wind and solar industries. This will provide vast amounts of money to Pickens. Gore, and other “taxpayer subsidized entrepreneurs,” such as ethanol producers, who are busily burning America’s food supply for fuel.
Wind, solar, and ethanol cannot stand alone in the energy market with current technology, but those who control the public purse are always available to transfer money to their friends.
A drive along Interstate Highway 10 from Los Angeles to Phoenix provides a very good view of wind power. Vast stretches of scenery have been obliterated along this California route by a mammoth tax-payer-financed wind farm. Great numbers of endangered birds have also been killed by these wind mills, but the enviros seem not to notice. One thing that is not unsightly, is the power line carrying power from the wind farm. It is very small, since little energy is generated.
Through the same country, however, passes a huge power line, which carries power from the Palo Verde nuclear power station near Phoenix to the people of Los Angeles.
Palo Verde, with 3 reactors in a small location that is barely noticeable from the highway, generates the power equivalent of six Hoover dams. Had completion of the 10-reactor facility not been stopped by the bogus-science, anti-nuclear propaganda campaign of the 1970s and 1980s, Palo Verde would now be generating the equivalent power of 20 Hoover dams.
While California brags about its wind farm, Palo Verde powers Los Angeles. The vast, unsightly, and inefficient California wind farm along Highway 10 does not generate enough energy even to run the water feed pumps for one of Palo Verde’s reactors.
Pickens, Gore, and their ilk do not dare invest in “alternative power” generation unless they can be certain that government regulations will suppress their competitors and taxpayer handouts will fund their “alternative power” investments, including large profits to them -- not in reward for producing energy, but instead in reward for helping elect socialist politicians.
The Democrats are talking in favor of spending many trillions of dollars in tax-payer capital for “alternative energy.” Yet, the investment of just $1 trillion would pay for fifty 10-reactor Palo Verde nuclear power stations -- one in each of the 50 states. This would be the power equivalent of 20 Hoover dams in each state. If these power plants are built, America’s current $600 billion annual trade deficit in energy will become instead a $400 annual trade surplus. Energy will then be abundant and dirt cheap in America, and there will be lots of money left over to fuel a tremendous increase in American prosperity.
The current free-market cost of nuclear electric energy is about one-fifth that paid by most Americans. Imagine the economic stimulus if Americans were allowed to keep 80% of the money they now spend on energy.
Moreover, building 50 Palo Verdes would not cost the American taxpayer one cent. The entire project would be enthusiastically paid for with private capital -- IF American politicians would simply get out of the way.
American politicians -- Pelosi, Gore, Reid, and their leftist predecessors -- have caused the American energy crisis. With high taxation, oppressive regulation, and sponsorship of confiscatory litigation they have made the United States into a very unfavorable business climate in which to produce energy. So, energy is produced abroad and imported by Americans -- at prices that we can no longer afford.
The only way in which to solve the energy problem is to repeal the taxation, regulation, and incentives to litigation that caused it in the first place.
The last thing Americans need is continued suppression of their domestic nuclear and oil industries, so that liberal politicians can remain in power and people like Pickens and Gore can profit at taxpayer expense.
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This November, voters need to tell these people that their party is over. The voters need to say that Americans are no longer “easy pickens.”
When T. Boone starts to spend his money on ads advocating a free market in energy, we’ll start to listen to him. One thing is, however, sure. If he really wants to make money on the plains of Texas, he should build a couple of Palo Verdes out there.
This article was firs published in Human Events 8-19-08
© 2008 - Art Robinson - All Rights Reserve