Tuesday, July 8, 2008


I get to work very early every morning, and then kill time by sitting outside the office in my car - eating my sausage egg McMuffin and listening to National Public Radio. Most mornings, when its not too hot, I will read a chapter or two from my book de jour before going in and starting another day at work. Usually my routine is just that - routine.

This morning while I was eating and tearing off small bits of bread to feed to the loud and pushy desert birds, NPR came on with a segment that caught my interest and stayed with me the rest of the day. T. Boone Pickens, a rich Texas arch-conservative who made his money sucking the people's oil out of the ground and selling it back to them, was on the radio plugging his new energy plan - a monumental wind farm in the Texas panhandle that will be able to provide electricity to 1.3 million homes. I was so taken by what he was saying, that I came home and began researching the topic.

Pickens is 80-years-old and seems to have finally figured out that greed really wasn't going to be much of a legacy. His plan is more than just a big wind farm, he is organizing a movement (www.pickensplan.com) to change the way America thinks about energy - and to force our political leaders to factor his ideas into a national dialogue on energy.

His plan is simple: use wind resources to replace the natural gas that currently goes into the production of electricity, and use that natural gas to power cars and lower our dependence on foreign oil.

Did you know, according to T. Boone, that there could be enough wind turbines placed in the windy state of North Dakota to provide all of America's electricity needs? Talk about an economic bonanza for North Dakota! And with those turbines, other complementary land uses can happen - such as grazing cattle.

I moved from Kentucky to Arizona last fall. My son drove the truck while I followed along in my car. When we hit southwest Oklahoma and the Texas panhandle, we saw hundreds of these large, beautiful windmills. I telephoned Nick in the truck and told him we were seeing the future. And we were!

T. Boone Pickens, you're a beautiful person! Better late than never!

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