Meet Wind Power's New Spokesman: George W. Bush?


Photo via ThinkQuest

Ah, remember the good ol' days? Back when President Bush was still in office--how he acknowledged the urgings of his own scientists to combat climate change and promptly adopted forward-looking energy policies to kickstart the great transition to America's clean energy economy? Yes, those were the days. Or, they might have been, had anything remotely close to that actually happened. Instead, we all know what really went down. However, perhaps it's never to late to start: Bush has just reportedly booked a speaking gig championing wind power for the American Wind Energy Association.Mother Jones' Kate Shepperd reported on the booking yesterday:

no, this isn't an April Fool's joke. The Texas native--reviled by enviros as president--will apparently be espousing the virtues of wind power at the meeting, sponsored by the American Wind Energy Association. From AWEA's blog:

The former president will talk about his experience as Texas's governor, and as President, in advancing the wind energy agenda. (Texas is the number one wind state in the United States and, though most people don't realize it, it was President Bush who first raised the prospect of getting 20% of U.S. electricity from wind.)

"Raised the prospect" is an interesting choice of words. Bush did sign into law a strong renewable energy standard in Texas 1999 as governor, which the state quickly surpassed. Texas now has more installed wind capacity than any other state. As president he did say in 2007 that the country could draw 20 percent of its power from wind by 2030, but he never actually took the steps needed to make that happen.

I don't think that last sentence can be stressed enough.

However, I will give tentative kudos to AWEA for trying out a new route (though certainly not for sugar-coating Bush's backwards energy policies) in communicating the appeal of clean energy. I doubt there would be many more converts to clean energy from another Gore speech. That said, there's an awful lot of syllables in 'alternative energy'--hope ol' Dubya handles it better than he does 'nuclear'. I'll certainly be looking forward to a transcript of this speech, for a number of reasons . . .

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Tags: Alternative Energy | United States | Wind Power

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