Pickens' North Texas Plant Fails – Who's to Blame?

His alternative energy plan flew a little too close to the sun

America has been familiarized with the T. Boone Pickens Plan through the millions of dollars the energy baron has spent on advertising and public awareness campaigns. It was almost a year ago on July 8, 2008, that he rolled out a strategy to accomplish no less than end America’s dependence on foreign oil.

However, circumstances involving the lack of a proper transmission grid have placed a hold on the North Texas Wind Turbine farm, a significant part of that plan.

But most people don’t go touting a plan to accomplish such lofty goals if they don’t have the resources to back them up. Watching the North Texas plan dissapear is like watching a father who’s been gone on business for months explain to an excited kid that he forgot to bring him that football he promised.

A modern, efficient electric transmission grid was a central tenet of the Pickens Plan. But in reality, the plan was to get someone else to build it – the government.

Pickens pushed a bill currently in the legislature to create a 21st century electricity transmission grid. It would give massive powers to the government to update the grid and allow transmission of alternative energy more easily.

Texas has also already spent a large chunk of money on wind power elsewhere. The Public Utility Commission used $5 billion dollars to build a transmission line to bring power from West Texas to North Texas and Houston in January of this year.

"It doesn't mean that wind is dead," Pickens told the Associated Press. "It just means we got a little bit too quick off the blocks."

No doubt. And expected someone else to pay for it.

Holly LaFon has written and worked for various local publications including D Magazine and Examiner.

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