In a commentary on Thursday’s Marketplace, the Cato Institute’s Will Wilkinson critiqued T. Boone Pickens’ new energy plan. In doing so, he painted a misleading picture of the government’s role in our energy usage.
Pickens wants wind energy to replace natural gas in electricity generation, and use the freed-up natural gas to fuel vehicles so we can use less foreign oil. There are problems with this energy plan, but Wilkerson is most concerned that the government might be “picking a winner” if it helps Pickens realize his scheme. (Wilkerson doesn’t specify exactly what Pickens wants the government to do, but Reuters reports that under the Pickens plan, the government would need to create power transmission corridors.)
Wilkerson doesn’t seem to think the government should get involved; his criticism of the Pickens Plan is that it’s “not about offering you, the consumer, a choice.” This is where he overlooks one crucial factor in the energy puzzle. He says:
If wind power were more efficient than the alternatives, we’d already be using more of it. If natural gas cars were attractive to con... Read more