Timlynn Babitsky | Benefits & Support,Bird kills,NIMBY | Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

by Timlynn Babitsky
Texas wind power cheerleader Jerry Patterson, takes on Ted Kennedy, the Audubon Society, environmentalists and the oil folks. With a gun in his boot, this Commissioner of the Texas General Land Office tells all about the future of oil and the Texas Wind Rush.

Patterson manages energy leases on state lands and waters for the State of Texas. In way more than just Big Talk, he views Texas as the real Big Kahuna of Wind Power and tells ‘why’ for a number of really Big Reasons:

  • Unlike the Cape Wind hoo-hah in Massachusetts, Texans do not say they favor green power, and then jump up and down yelling NIMBY when it comes. Texans are realists; they know we are going to run out of oil and natural gas.
  • Texas has a lot of open space to build wind power. And, unlike California, Texas is not overly regulated.
  • Texas has an energy history in exploration, production, leases, and mineral estate laws; apply this experience to wind power development and Texas is way ahead of many other places in the US.

Like most things in Texas, the potential for offshore wind production in the state really is HUGE.

  • The Texas Gulf Coast is huge, over 21,000 square miles
  • The offshore jurisdiction of the state is BIG compared to most other coastal states. They have offshore jurisdiction of 3 nautical miles. The Texas jurisdiction is 9 nautical miles – 10.3 statute miles.
  • Wind projects in the Gulf off Texas are governed by the state and not the federal government; right of way issues go directly through the state.
  • Texas has a 60-year experience building offshore oil and gas rigs just ripe and ready for building offshore wind platforms.
  • Offshore wind generators will be only 10 miles from the nearest transmission grid; this is not the same for many onshore wind locations.

The July issue Fast Company interview with humorous Patterson will make you laugh out loud.

As this Texas wind power cheerleader claimed to interviewer Kermit Pattison, “I got a little skirt, a little sweater that says W.” — reading this interview you can almost believe that he does.

Click here to read the full interview with Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson in Fast Company on line.

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