Wind energy is clean and plentiful-but not cheap, according to a story on CBS 11 in Dallas/Fort Worth.

T. Boone Pickens, who recently purchased 700 wind turbines for installation near Pampa at a cost of $2 billion, was interviewed for the story:

“While it might be cleaner, Pickens says wind power will cost consumers more than the power they’re getting right now. ‘If we continue buying foreign oil, we’ll be broke in 20 years, so you are going to have to do something immediately. Nobody wants to pay more for anything. I don’t. Energy is going to be more expensive.'”

Mr. Pickens is right about the cost of wind. According to Drew Thornley, building transmission lines to transmit wind energy from West Texas to the rest of the state could cost more than $6.28 billion.

And Mr. Pickens might also be right when he says that energy is going to be more expensive. But he doesn’t have to be.

That’s because government regulations have greatly contributed to the increase in energy prices over the last few years. Restrictions on exploration and drilling have significantly reduced the supply of oil, gasoline and natural gas-driving up prices. Ethanol mandates and subsidies have further driven up the price of energy-and food too! Restrictions on nuclear- and coal-fired generation have reduced electricity supplies and made us more dependent on high cost natural gas. And these costs pale in comparison to the costs of climate change regulation, as detailed by Kathleen Hartnett White.

It needn’t be this way. Reduced regulation, mandates, and subsidies, along with increased exploration of, and generation from, carbon-based fuels, will bring us the clean, less expensive energy we need to maintain a healthy economy and environment.

If Mr. Pickens is right, we have only ourselves to blame.

– Bill Peacock