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Now he tells us: Bush hates oil, loves wind power

by Jerome a Paris Wed May 26th, 2010 at 10:49:00 AM EST

DALLAS As the U.S. Gulf Coast battled a massive oil spill, former President George W. Bush told the American Wind Energy Association conference here today, "It's in our economic interests that we diversify away from oil."

"It's in our environmental interest," the onetime Midland oilman added. "And, finally, it's in our national security interest."

Bush, speaking at the Dallas Convention Center, said he believes that his grandchildren "will be driving electric cars, powered primarily by renewable sources of energy."

Bush Blows Away Conference

For a few minutes in his Tuesday morning speech, George W. Bush was governor of Texas again, reenacting how the foundations were laid to make the state the far-and-away leader in wind energy in the United States.

Bush described how he directed utility commissioner Pat Wood in the late 1990s that a new energy source should be developed.

"I said to Pat Wood, `there's plenty of wind in Texas, let's get some,'" Bush said. And with his famous self-deprecating humor, added, "I know that didn't sound very Shakespearean."


As he concluded his remarks, Bush noted "We said we were going to get 2,000 megawatts in 10 years but we hand no way of knowing we would reach 10,000 megawatts in 11 years."

Texas wind is a true success story. The State recently reached an impressive landmark, with more than 10 GW installed - 15 years ahead of schedule:

Texas Meets Renewable Energy Goals 15 Years Early

Texas has reached its goal of having 10,000 megawatts of renewable energy capacity this year, 15 years earlier than scheduled, thanks to an ample supply of West Texas wind.

According to a report (.doc) filed with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) Friday, the Lonestar State has 10,367 megawatts of renewable energy capacity, and generated 21,594,278 megawatt-hours of clean electricity in 2009.

Ninety-nine percent of those megawatts come from wind power. West Texas has some of the country's best wind resources, and has experienced explosive wind power development since ERCOT's renewable energy program was signed into law by then-Governor George W. Bush in 1999.

Under the Texas system, each megawatt-hour of renewable energy generated earns a renewable energy credit (a REC) which can be sold separate from the energy. Most utilities in the state are required to buy and use ("retire") a certain number of such RECs each year.

But what has been surprising about the Texas experiment is that, because that *Texas wind has proved so inexpensive, demand has exceeded what the law requires*, fueling a voluntary market in renewable energy credits that is now bigger than the mandated market.

Cheap, plentiful energy. Imagine if George W. Bush had been in a position to replicate such a dazzling success on a larger scale, to push for smart energy policies that provide for green, domestic, economic electricity...

Oh, wait.

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Full disclosure: I advise wind developers on their financing needs.
See also the rest of my series on wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed May 26th, 2010 at 10:50:15 AM EST
"Well, muh wrrs didn't get us ohhhhl, so let's git some wind."

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed May 26th, 2010 at 11:48:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
contrary to popular belief, texans are not stupid, they just talk sloooow.

now if they can just harness some of those brooding, wild electrical storms they get down there...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed May 26th, 2010 at 03:07:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You have to keep in mind that Texans think they are in a different country. So they have a foreign policy all their own, involving selling oil to the dumb residents of other states while they build up their own sustainable infrastructure...

Dallas has company in its pursuit of long-term savings with the green approach to municipal projects. City councils in Austin, Houston, San Antonio, and Frisco have also passed resolutions or ordinances calling for future city projects to follow green guidelines for sustainability.

A number of large corporations have now embraced the "healthy workplace" standard at the urging of employees, says Houston architect Tim Murray. "Some corporations will only lease space in buildings that are considered green. It's necessary for recruiting. College graduates who have been raised on the 'reuse and reclaim' mantra are actually asking recruiters where they will be working and in what sort of building."


by asdf on Wed May 26th, 2010 at 10:47:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have no idea whether this is a lot or if Texas just set the target low.
by Number 6 on Wed May 26th, 2010 at 12:39:17 PM EST
Let me think.....Uhmmmm. Dick Cheney had no role in GWB's time as Governor of Texas, did he?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed May 26th, 2010 at 01:05:53 PM EST
Cheney or not, late-stage empire operations are a hell of a lot different than running a state.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Wed May 26th, 2010 at 01:15:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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