Trains For America

More choices for better transportation

Meet the Enemy

This story has nothing to do about trains, but I blew into the office and all the regular employees were doing productive tasks and following TFA policy. Therefore, it is my God-ordained right to go off on a tangent.

While the item I am going to highlight has no transportation component, it has plenty to do with the situation in which we find ourselves with regard to available affordable energy. This is the kind of first order issue that has a direct bearing on how transportation policy is made. 

Down in Texas, a bastion of common sense and good government, there is a major fight concerning the relative merits of wind driven power. Guess who doesn’t want it to happen? The Dallas Morning News has an extensive and informative report.

Paul Sadler, executive director of advocacy group the Wind Coalition, said wind must be accommodated fairly, and technology exists to do so.

“Integration of wind is not sending a man to the moon,” he said. “It’s just a matter of having the will to do it.”

The answer depends on the extent to which a person is invested in wind power.

Ned Ross, director of regulatory affairs for FPL Energy, a Florida company investing in West Texas wind farms, says there’s no such thing as too much wind.

Other wind advocates say 30 percent of Texas’ power could be supplied by wind. The Department of Energy, citing the Bush administration’s support of renewable energy, says the country could get 20 percent of its power from wind by 2030.

Major generation companies in Texas that operate coal and natural gas plants say 10 to 15 percent is about all the state could handle.

Of course, oil and gas companies would never lie, would they? And if their officers were called to testify before congress, they would cheerfully raise their right hands and swear to tell the truth, right? And it’s OK to let them make energy policy (just like airlines and truckers make transportation policy), right?

Sleep tight, all is well.

Filed under: Passenger Rail Politics, Passenger Rail Transportatio Policy

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July 2008


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